By Oraye St. Franklyn
The situation in Kano calls for concern. By now the authorities there would have realised that shipping Almajiris out of Kano is no solution, especially since the serial thoughtful advice of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi were presumably viewed as tactless provocation, mindless insubordination and grievous instigation of possible insurrection.
But here we are today. A future in which the political authorities who run the ancient commercial city of Kano and had always rebuffed commonsensical counsel to educate and empower its teeming youth and deconstruct and discontinue its almajiri system are now confronted with the stark reality of its present danger to all who live and thrive in the city.
The Kano State Government has no option but to now rise to the challenge of leadership and deal squarely with the prevailing issues of public health and safety. It is one fundamental reason it exists and also why its elective officials were put in office.
Abdicating its primary responsibility to the Federal Government smacks of grave irresponsibility, the likes of which brought it to its sorry pass. While indeed the Federal Government has a duty to support all States of the Federation in dealing with the scourge of COVID-19, State Governments have the primary duty to set up buffers and systems to contain outbreaks of this nature within their borders. I read, with great consternation, a letter written to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, by a federal lawmaker from Kano, which unashamedly raised queries with the support accorded Lagos as against what Kano had received.
The Federal Lawmaker failed to acknowledge that before a single kobo was pledged in support of Lagos, it had spent 4billion naira of its own money in proactive measures to contain the spread of the virus. If anything, the immediate successes recorded by the measures taken by Lagos went further to allay fears across the country that the virus was defeatable. Other States have gone on to replicate the Lagos model in preserving lives within their domain.
The political authorities in Kano need to urgently rise to the leadership challenge posed by #COVID19 and solve the very problems they were put in office to deal with as they reach out to the FG in a manner that promotes cooperation; one that is hinged on visible structures and systems upon which support can thrive.
The first story was that there was no CORONA in Kano. Young men went to town singing no CORONA. We all saw the videos. Who warned them? If we heeded the early warnings then, would we be where we are today? This is not a time to blame the Federal Government, it is a time to show leadership. This is the future we were warned about. That tomorrow, has come.