Kano Rural Areas: The Victims of Political Insensitivity
HOTPEN – As the wind of 2023 general elections blows across Nigeria, residents of rural areas of Kano state no doubt have to make a good bargain/choice else failure to do so will be to their own peril. In the past years, the development of rural communities in Kano have not been a priority to those in power including most of the sons and daughters of the rural areas that found themselves in the city as agents of government.
Anyone coming to the capital city of Kano will no doubt be amazed by the multi million naira modern fly-overs and under-pass bridges beautifully designed to make the city fantastic and also ease transportation. In just less than ten (10) years, the city has recorded over ten of such magnificent bridges mostly executed between 2015 and 2021. The city has also been decorated with lots fine roads, street lights and beautification mostly around the seat of power/elites quarters with agencies like Kano Metropolitan Agency (KAMA) and Kano Urban Beautification Agency purposely designed to keep the city’s infrastructure working.
The above is certainly a good development. Nobody will dislike the beauty of his/her capital city. However, the question is that what has been the situation in the rural areas where the poorest and most vulnerable citizens lived. This question is valid at a time when rural populations of Kano continue to allege that the beautiful bridges/flyovers in the city were financed from a collective federal allocation shares implying that the rural Local Government areas allocations were also tapped to form a significant share of the funds used to execute the city projects.
HOW DOES THE RURAL KANO LOOKS LIKE TODAY?
As Kano city gradually transformed to a modern city, the rural areas obviously remain in anguish. From the highly inaccessible rural roads to dilapidated states of infrastructure like schools, hospital and fast dying local economy.
Take a tour to any of the rural local government in Kano state you will discover that there is nothing to write home about because of the absolute neglect by the state power. Most of the administrative centers of rural areas in Kano have no roads, no pipe-borne water, no functional hospitals, no electricity, in fact nothing for a decent living.
Around 2015, the state government commenced a five kilometer road project in all the local governments of Kano. Sadly, the project has been abandoned in most of the LGAs. In some areas where the existing roads were excavated to give way for the new ones, the road have since transformed to local ponds during rainy season as years of erosion have turned them to a gully.
The story of rural Kano is a sad one. While residents have to travel kilometers away to treat some minor sicknesses such as malaria and typhoid due to dysfunctional health care system, on the economic side, the hitherto weekly markets known in the rural areas continue to witness declining activities occasioned by poor road and lack of patronage of people from far distances. Education has not been an exceptional from the anguish of neglect of the rural people. Job opportunities have been near-zero as the economy lacks any stimulus. While most of the rural dwellers are rainy season farmers, agricultural incentives are becoming a history and farming fields becoming scarce amidst growing population.
We are all living witness to the 2019 governorship election in the state where the ruling party was saved from humiliating defeat by the voters in the rural areas. Unfortunately from 2019 to date, what major projects were executed to say thank you? The city population that gladly voted against the ruling party had been the major beneficiaries of the second tenure of the party. To make this write up unbiased, people of rural areas along Bunkure, Rano and Kibiya appreciates ruling APC government for the renovation of Karfi-Bunkure-Rano-Kibiya road. However, the areas deserved more than that.
There is no doubt that movement of people from rural areas to urban centre has been on the increase thus the growing population pressure in Kano city in particular. It could be noticed that crime activities have been on the rise especially murder and snatching of mobile phones and other personal belongings among sundry crimes.
Some observers were of the view that jobless youths from the rural areas who team-up with their counterparts in the city perpetrate the crimes that the authorities are battling to contain daily in Kano city. Hence, the continuing neglect of rural areas implies the increasing crime in the city since many more would continue to come in and join their like-minds.
Now that 2023 general elections are fast approaching, the people in the rural Kano have an opportunity to make a good bargain/choice of people that may end their agony. If by mistakes they choose those who prefer to beautify the city more and continue to strangle the development of the rural areas then, they should be ready to live in more misery. A word is enough for the wise!
Dan Mallam wrote from Kibiya, Kano state.