Abbas Yushau Yusuf
Governments in Nigeria are synonymous with lack of consistency in implementing policies for the welfare and wellbeing of the people, be they local, state, or federal these governments. When it comes to policy formulation and implementation governments are very passionate in organizing conferences and talk shows for the purpose of impressing the public that they are very serious in solving problems.
One of the sectors Kano is grappling with apart from healthcare and education is transportation. Kano is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. According to the 2006 population census, the state is the most populous with 9.5 million people. Instead of the city to boast of one of the best transportation systems in Nigeria, the transportation system in the state is one of the worst considering the nature and the population the state is blessed with.
The state has not prepared for a robust transportation system when new settlements are springing with ever increasing population. When Nigeria returned to democracy successive governments did not organize how the transportation system of the state will look like. Government should not shoulder all the responsibilities of how Kano people will be transported to their places of daily routine but it must be responsible for how the people will feel the best when going out from their houses in search of greener pastures every day.
In the late and early nineties the best transportation system for the state then consisted of buses popularly known in local parlance as KIYAKIYA. These are set of ruptured buses carrying passengers in Kano from nooks and crannies of the state emanating from the central nexus at BATA.
Taxis which were plying some roads in the state were then not enough to transport people to their destination. The taxi business started dying with the abandonment of the business by a particular ethnic group in the state, and it has not been revived by indigenous business men of the state. That made the people of Kano to only survive with KIYAKIYA absorbing the heat of the dying vehicle which may have led to the passengers developing hypertension. Moreover the bus conductors were rude youths who had not attended any school and were not trained to respect anybody.
Ban on Achaba
Later came the Okada riders who were riding motorcycles in the state. These folks known as Yan Achaba littered the streets of Kano in less than two decades. Instead of Okada riders to become solution to the state’s transportation crises, they became daily causes of fractured limbs; most accident and emergency units of state hospitals became hosts to Achaba crash victims. As the days go by motorcycle riders became a nuisance to Kano metropolis before they became a total abomination due to insurgency in the year 2012.
Motorcycles were used by insurgents to attack soft targets in the state. That forced Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso’s administration in January 2013 to offer cogent reasons for abandoning the trade and that led youths who are mostly jobless within the state to resort to another transportation business, which is tricycle known as Adaidaita Sahu.
People welcomed the ban on Achaba but government’s abrupt ending of the business did not provide a plan for the restoration of robust transportation business which all and sundry can patronize in Kano. Instead of graduating to the 21st century transportation business in the state, Kano graduated to another nuisance, leaving the whole lot of masses to suffer with the alternatives of Adaidaita Sahu even though it has led to the provision of Job to teeming youth, some aged men in the state who cannot have a means of living.
In the next few years Kano roads will be hard to occupy with the resurgence of Adaidaita Sahu every day. The government is not serious in regulating their activities not banning them, as there are sources that say the government of Kano is even mulling the idea of banning Tricycle operators, despite the fact that some are using it to perpetrate crime.
Now Adaidata Sahu are plying the metropolitan roads without government knowing their exact number making it easy to carry out crimes with them.
Adaidaita Sahu what is it? Is it not government negligence and failure to checkmate their activities?
Abbas Yushau’u Yusuf, a Kano-based journalist and public affairs commentator can be reached at email@example.com