✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

En route with Niger Republic in mind

These days the only sure option for getting to Kaduna from Abuja is by road despite the innumerable obstacles placed by the ongoing, slow-paced, road…

These days the only sure option for getting to Kaduna from Abuja is by road despite the innumerable obstacles placed by the ongoing, slow-paced, road construction. On Wednesday last week, I found myself, rather reluctantly, on the highway to Kaduna from Abuja.

I had planned to go on the journey on Tuesday, the penultimate week by train. That day, I was duly settled in the 3pm train from Udi which developed some problems and was delayed interminably in the station. When no information was forthcoming and not wanting to get enmeshed in night travel, I deboarded and returned home.

This Wednesday morning, I was out again, this time braving the challenges of the Kaduna highway. It was a fine day to travel, with not a hint of rain, but the highway was already clogged with long heavy vehicles interspaced with smaller ones like mine. The road from Jere onwards was a grim trial for every motorist as the dual carriageway, at several points, has been constricted into two single lanes. The lanes were full of potholes and the going was rough but what was nagging my mind had benumbed the vicissitude of this bumpy ride. It was now four weeks into the coup that rocked Niger Republic and the removal and detention of its much-loved President Mohamed Bazoum.

The reaction of our President Bola Tinubu as the ECOWAS Chairman to the coup was swift in imposing economic sanctions and a threat to military action. The threat of military action which would sorely impact the age-old relationship between Nigeria and Niger Republic, is what has agitated the minds of many Nigerians and has all along been uppermost in my mind.

The radio stations blaring in my car as I drove along all seemed to be in unison discussing one aspect of the matter or the other.  But as one drove farther away from Abuja the radio stations started getting faint and the Kaduna ones picked up.

Whichever radio station one picked up in the Kaduna axis, the topic of discussion was also entirely on the Niger Republic matter. The fact that the Hausa language is the broadcasting medium in most of the Kaduna radio stations, makes the Niger Republic matter more of a riveting story.

These radio stations in Kaduna and other parts of the North remain the social media of a large portion of the population. They reflect to a large extent the viewpoints of the artisans, farmers, and traders who do not own smartphones and have no access to WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and the like. It is when one gets to listen to these radio stations broadcasting in our languages that one comes to grips with the realisation of how articulate and savvy the local population is when analysing how national and world affairs affect them.

From much of the radio discussions, one could discern a trend abhorring the threat of military action against Niger Republic after the punitive sanctions that have already been put in place. The general view is that we can’t fight our brothers for the love of enthroning democracy. It gets even more interesting when one listens to the music that is played on these radio stations. Hausa artists from Niger Republic dominated the airwaves that day. Many of the artistes belong to the new generation but some of the older generation of singers were repeatedly played.

A good example would be Muhammadu Gawo dan Filinge who in the 1970s was arguably Niger Republic’s finest Hausa singer. His classic Nigeria Da Niger Daidai Suke (Nigeria and Niger Are the Same) was the song that was all over the radio waves. It is a song that deals with the Nigeria-Niger bilateral relations, tracing the relationship to centuries back. He could be heard singing: Ko wacce zai rabamu mun san karya shi kai. Whoever thinks he would divide us is fooling himself. Muhammadu Gawo died in 2016 but his songs live on.

Kaduna is the heart of the North. It is the home of Radio Kaduna, which has for decades reflected the opinions of the larger population of the North. Even though it has now transmuted into FRCN, its orientation hasn’t changed much.

On my entry into Kaduna, I could pick many of the views expressed against the intended military adventure into Niger Republic. I guess I would be hearing the same sing-song had I gone much further up North to those eight states that have borders with Niger Republic. This is understandable when one views the demographic makeup of the Niger Republic, comprising 55.4 per cent Hausa, 8.5 per cent Fulbe and 4.7 per cent Kanuri. The relationship has remained strong. The porous colonial border also meant that trade and other social relationships could continue unabated.

As I concluded the journey, I ruminated over all this and wished that those who run the affairs of this country would find time to listen to the views of the populace on our radio stations. They will have a more complete viewpoint adding whatever is gathered from new social media.

LEARN AFFILIATE MARKETING: Learn How to Make Money with Expertnaire Affiliate Marketing Using the Simple 3-Step Method Explained to earn $500-$1000 Per Month.
Click here to learn more.

AMAZON KDP PUBLISHING: Make $1000-$5000+ Monthly Selling Books On Amazon Even If You Are Not A Writer! Using Your Mobile Phone or Laptop.
Click here to learn more.

GHOSTWRITING SERVICES: Learn How to Make Money As a Ghostwriter $1000 or more monthly: Insider Tips to Get Started. Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.

SECRET OF EARNING IN CRYPTO: Discover the Secrets of Earning $100 - $2000 Every Week With Crypto & DeFi Jobs.
Click here to learn more.