From the onset, let me quickly correct the likely misconceptions this article may generate from my readers and followers of my write-ups pertaining Kaduna state at present because I know I may risk myself into being label as a latter-day Ramalan Yero?s apologist and or an ?all of the sudden convert?. The misconceptions here I wish to clear is about how people especially my followers viewed me as ?critic? who constantly criticizes the administration of Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, while to me it wasn?t a criticisms but an appraisal and analysis of every single policy and programs of the administration which, as a social scientist and stake holder too, it is a bounden-duty upon me I feels, to always know the situation of things in my state and most importantly to know the policy directions of my governor vis-?-vis the raison d??tre of each and every policy and the extent to which it will be, would be or has been implemented.

Contrary to the general conceptions of the term ?criticism? we, the social scientists look it as a ginger that galvanizes people or institutions to action. By assessing and analyzing government policies we pinpoint the loopholes and make our recommendations and also propel government upon them.

A good critique is the one that is influenced by reasons ?objectivity not emotions ?subjectivity. That is why my criticisms are always fair, focused and principled ? am sure many will agree with me.

The recent ban on commercial motorcycles in the state (popularly known as achaba) has expectedly irked or rather is irking many people in the state. There are continual hues and cries about the policy everywhere in the state. Complains upon complains, murmuring upon murmuring and all sorts of invectives are poured to the governor only, because people see him as the one responsible for that action. That is why they are castigating him in which, to me is very unfair and unjust.

All these misinformation and misguided thoughts of the people are what concerns me, that they (the people) don?t know the workings of the democratic government, as such don?t even know the difference between a Bill and a Law, much less the Baron de Montesque?s doctrine of Separations of Power ?at least in theory. That is why many don?t know that this particular Bill does not emanate from the governor himself as an Executive Bill neither does he have the prerogative to decline to assent to any bill when it comes to his table. In order words, his (the governor) prerogatives are limited by the section 100 subsection 5 of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the State Assembly to pass any bill into law if the governor refuses to sign after one month.

To even dig further these people that are unjustly blaming the governor concerning this do not know the relationship between executive and legislature in terms of functions that is why they are careless to know that the governor cannot make any Law in the state as it?s not in his power to do so, but only to sign it as a bill if it is being sent to him. If he refuses, the above provisions can be employed by the State legislature so far they constitute the 2/3 majority as required by Law.

These are some of the misguided thoughts I wish to dispel. Because unfortunately most of the people I heard censuring the governor are the educated class in the state who are supposed to know better than the rest.

I had listened to all arguments concerning the ban and parts of the complains people in the state are making and blaming His Excellency is that the ban has caused a lot of hardships (which I optimistically believed is going to be for short-time); and will slow down the economic activities (which I don?t seem to know the value commercial motorcycles add to our state economy); and that the policy in question is untimely (if not now so when?) In order to have a balance and unbiased judgments of the both perspectives (that is from the perspectives of those ignoramuses of the policy and from the perspectives of the discourse on the policy), let us take a brief excursion into the contents of the policy to see if truly it will, or it has negative impact on us both socially and economically. As a student of Public Policy, of course also, as everybody from other disciplines should know or ought to have known that, it?s a common thing that for any policy to be introduced, the policy makers usually weigh between the social and economic costs of that policy and between the social benefit and economic benefit of the policy to be introduced.

For crying out loud what benefits have we reaped from achaba in the state if not every-day nuisances, crimes and other sorts of socio-vices (committed, aided or abetted by them)? How many people do we lose due to recklessness of achaba riders that most of whom are not even indigenes of the state, and don?t know traffic laws? To be candid most of those okada riders were run-away convicts who committed heinous crimes in their various states but just escaped and came to our state to hide or to settle. Because achaba is the easiest yet nasty business that doesn?t have regulations and is left open, those fugitives-turn okada riders easily get motor cycles through a guarantor or through Hire Purchase, and they easily blended with the society of achabas.

Our Kaduna has become over-bloated with all sorts of people because more than 90% of those commercial motorcyclists were from all those states that banned achaba. This is even simply justifiable because more often if you ask the achaba guy to take you to somewhere the way he will charge you, you will surely know that he doesn?t know the place. If you enquire whether he knows the exact place you want him to take you, he will bluntly tell you No, but will urge you to climb. That is why the state is congested with non-indigenes.

Non-indigenes with no permanent abode but only transient resting place. They normally sleep in primary schools and government ministries and agencies in the state. This I know for sure because I used to know some of the achaba riders before this ban trooping to pass night in the Kaduna State Emergency Response office which is attached to Public Complaint Commission. I later understood that the gate man of those agencies was their fellow that was why he used to harbor them every night before morning. That is a threat to our lives and properties, should the achaba be allowed to continue in the state.

Economically, one will but wonders what value achaba add to our state revenue and to our economy. As nuisance itself, you will find among achaba people, former and present criminals of all sorts and also those who sell or abandon their farms that they once lived on and come down to city for a perceived greener pasture. All those fertile farm lands they abandoned are our sources of food and contribute to our local, state and national GDP. Migration in everywhere especially a rural-urban one is a menace to economic growth and development. And Kaduna has become the best typology of migration in recent times.

Our meager resources will be extremely difficult to be distributed while the state is saturated with non-indigenes. Rather than lambasting the governor we shall be thanking him and praising him for this singular act. The desire for the government to fully implement its pledges will hardly be possible with the proliferation of people to the state every day, whose identity are unknown.

However also, from my experience, normally nothing new comes, especially one that has to do with altering the people?s dispositions for example, a new policy that will not be accompanied with little hardship, which is for a short-while though. For example a ?Progressive Policy? like this one needs a support from the affected people in form of sacrifice. We, as citizens ought to understand that and we ought to sacrifice this little hardship in order to get permanent pleasure in the nearest future.

I remember vividly when Ahmed Makarfi, our former governor decided to take development to Zaria City he faced a fierce resistance from the locals because it happened that to build accessible road networks across the City, it was necessary that the slums of the inner city of Zaria must be carved up. That he did amidst strong resistance and outcries from the Zaria people. But today, the people of Zaria are enjoying, the motorists, and the market people are all happy. In fact, it has become something of a reference point any time a discourse on Zaria?s development pops-up. Having known this, why can?t we at least for once support the governor in this? Something that will be of great benefit to us as people and as citizens. The crimes committed with the aid of commercial motorcyclists in the state are unspeakable.

Once upon a time in Zaria also, all the rapes that became rampant were perpetrated by achaba guys. They built a den where they always took their unsuspecting innocent female passengers. Sometimes even married women fell into their traps. The case became so high and inexcusable that they had to be disbanded. They were disbanded but rather belatedly because they had already deflowered our young sisters and raped our mothers. Is there any reason strong enough that will warrant the continual condonation of achaba in the state?

My prayer to us, the citizens of the state is to please support the government in achieving this. I know truly we will suffer but I believed making this little sacrifice will give us much relief soonest. And I was meant to understand that the governor His Excellency Ramalan Yero has made adequate arrangements for palliative measures. Keke Napep (Tricycles) were ordered in order to distribute it to the various places in the state, which I hope it will, in a while be more than enough in the state.

Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,
A staff of Unity Bank Plc Kaduna.


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