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Aftermath of Kano market fire

Analysts have already started revealing that more than one trillion naira was lost in the ravenous fire of Sabon Gari market. I wept for Kano.…

Analysts have already started revealing that more than one trillion naira was lost in the ravenous fire of Sabon Gari market. I wept for Kano. The figure is so alarming that my sorry heart started reckoning up the number of poor persons that have been hatched.
I look at the already burgeoning number of the poor in slums and ghettos; those who go to bed at night on an empty stomach, wake up in the morning without hope of taking anything for breakfast. This hunger breeds criminal minds.
And, today, thousands are thrown to such a borderline in Kano. I try to imagine the hundreds of thousands that earn their living at the market. I imagine their wives and children, their servants and the boys who run errand for them at home. I imagine the relatives they help, the students they sponsor, and the parents they look after. I think of the community help they tender routinely. I think they are symbolically dead. It is not only the direct victims that are dead; all these people around them are dead too. We are also dead. Kano is dead.
Speculatively, why this fire is gutting the northern states only? I heard about the same fire in Kebbi last night; another one in Jigawa yesterday evening. Today, another is burning in Zamfara. What’s going on? Is this not a new form of terrorism? Our leaders should speak. Our scholars should speak too. Now is the time to know ourselves and know who is truly representing us in Abuja. They should speak and address this problem with a great urgency required at the moment. I’m not talking about helping out the victims only, I’m also urging them to suggest forming a committee that would investigate the courses of this fire outbreaks.
Having said that, I think it is high time we all started thinking of how to battle this economic death by ourselves. Singa, Kurmi, Sabon Gari and GSM markets are now down. Are we just to remain fatalistic, as we always are, and fold our arms without doing anything? Not at all. Let us strategise how to protect the remaining markets practically and spiritually. Let us all be alert, watchful and vigilant. We should hire more vigilante groups who will be patrolling at night. And, let us all purify our wealth by giving out Zakat and also by being gracious to poor buyers. This way, we may prevent a recurrence of this obnoxious experience.
One more thing, the government has to think again about the utterly primordial fire service equipment it has. The firefighting trucks are rickety and so barely rattle around. No firefighting aircraft in the whole width and breadth of the north, let alone in Kano. This Sabon Gari incident is a real measure that exposes the lack of readiness of our government. Please let us make no more noise on anything but these simple life rescue things, ranging from hospitals to firefighting equipment.

Mubarak Ibrahim Lawal, writes this piece from Kano State College of Arts, Science and Remedial Studies, Kano.

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