Kano: A state without elders

By Shazali Ibrahim Dan’Amarya

With over 1,000 years of monarchy in place, Kano is a metropolitan city with the most revered traditional institution in Nigeria. It has remained the symbol of authority, a custodian of tradition and a vestige of religious values. Whoever is crowned and in whatever age and time, is awesomely revered by all and sundry.

Kano is also the most populous state in the most populous nation in Africa with a population of over 10 million people engaged in farming, local trading, business ventures and the working class.

Of its population, Kano is blessed with people who have become prominent in different fields of human endeavor. It has also produced great leaders in persons of the two late heads of state, Generals Murtala Muhammad and Sani Abacha.

It is the commercial nerve centre of the North, and has as its sons many international businessmen that included the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, chairman Dangote Group, the grand child of Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, Kano’s wealthiest man of his time, as well as Abdussamad Isyaka Rabi’u, chairman, BUA Group of Companies.

Kano is also home to an array of prominent Islamic scholars that included leader of the Qadiriyya sect in Africa, Sheikh Sheikh Qariballah Sheikh Nasiru Kabara, Sheikh Tijjani Usman Zangon Bare bari, Sheikh Sani Kafinga, Sheikh Atiku Sanka, Sheikh Usman Maihula, Sheikh Dr. Sani Umar Rijiyar Lemo, Sheikh Dr. Bashir, Malam Ibrahim Khalil, among others.

Politically, Kano is a sanctuary of progressive politics in a desert of liberalism that was Nigeria’s northern region, the then Kano province, from which today’s Kano state was carved.

It was a bastion of leftist ideological leaning at the beginning of the country’s attempt at participatory democracy. Kano is also home to radical and progressives’ politics that produced the likes of Malam Aminu Kano and Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi respectively.

It is a powerful state when it comes to voting and deciding who will win the presidential election in Nigeria. The count of votes from Kano can change the election’s outcome.

However, events in the recent are indicating that it has been going back ward as far as politics is concerned.

As a citizen of Kano, who has been observing things as they unfold, particularly political development, I believe there is the need for critical look at the politics of enmity which has been retarding the wheel of progress in the state.

Since the advent of democratic rule in 1999, political enmity is driving the once united politics of Kano, with its political gladiators making it difficult for peace to reign.

While the traditional institution which drives its relevance from religious and cultural values has been non-partisan, for selfish interest, the monarchy has been dragged into the muddy waters of politics and now almost reduced to nothing. In the event things got worse, they have right to wade in.

The business class is being undermined by bitter politics of the day, that is, to either belong here or there. In the same vein, the Islamic scholars are being looked up with disdain. Once they talk, their messages are received with different interpretations, casting aspersion on their integrity.

Today, in Kano, we do not have an elder from the above mentioned class of people who can speak with one voice either for or against any issue that affect the generality of the people.

While this ugly trend is taking its toll on state’s development because of its impact on the society, a huge pall of suspense is hanging on the state’s political firmament, while political gladiators and their supporters in the process of outdoing each other, are raising the state’s political temperature. Therefore, if nothing is done to address this issue, Kano will continue retard backwardly.

The level of enmity between the trio of former governors of Kano state, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, Ibrahim Shekarau and Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is seriously affecting the overall development of Kano state.

I want to suggest that an all encompassing stakeholders meeting should be convene to discuss the current development in the state, including the three political gladiators so that sanity is ensured in Kano politics

By bringing together leaders from all sectors of the society, all issues at stake should be discuss to solve the problems before they get out of hand.

Dan’Amarya wrote from Kano and can be reached at [email protected]

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