Prepared by Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Kano
Issued: 7th April, 2020
As the number of confirmed cases increases day by day, several States in Nigeria took different drastic measures to respond to the pandemic, including states where the outbreak has not been recorded.
Kano State decided to close schools across the state from 23rd of March and asked all workers to stay at home for 14 days. It subsequently closed its borders from mid night of Friday, 27th of the same month. Similarly, there were directives which strongly advised people to abide by social distancing and avoid congregational prayers, all social activities such as cinemas, clubs, joints and viewing centers were closed and ceremonial gatherings in the state were banned.
To understand the level of compliance of Kano State citizens to the above directives, CITAD undertook assessment visits to certain mosques, markets and streets within the metropolis.
- The assessment has shown that people have ignored the social distancing directives. Similarly, markets activities are still going on as usual without any obvious precautions in place, and ceremonial gatherings are currently going on as usual with exception of few individuals.
- Another point of concern is how the directives of state border closure is not quite effective as it supposed to. Reports have shown several people flowing into the state from other states with a little amount of bribe ranging from 200 hundred to 1000 naira depending on the type of car you are entering with, as claimed by the travelers themselves and report by our observers.
- To emphasize on the ineffectiveness of the state border closure, there were incidences of bringing corpses of controversial death to the state like the case of Bichi and Hisbah board which the authorities handled with negligence. Again, someone crossed the border to Kano and fell sick in Gaya with suspicious symptoms (under examination now). In the case of Bichi, a family brought a corpse all the way to Bich, in Kano State from Abuja to be buried and the family resisted demand by Medical Personnel undersnd the cause of the death,
- Another thing to consider is the operation of â€œYan Adaidata Sahuâ€ (tricycle riders). They still carry as many as four people and do not carry sanitizers, soap or even water.
- In many places, football pitches are busy with youth playing, unmindful of the implications of coding so. Some of the places we observed this happening include: FCT Football pitch in Kabuga where staff and youth from the neighboring communities play, Ahmed Musa Centre, CBN Quarters in Hotoro where youth played wedding soccer, Doraiyi Karama, Filin Sarki where youth play daily,
- Across the states, wedding ceremonies are being held without precautions and in defiance of directive against large gathering, one of the high profiles wedding was wedding Fatiha of the sister of Hon Kabiru Ado Lawaya, State Commissioner for Youth Development, held in Lakwaya of Gwarzo LGA which many politicians, government official and youth attended. It is regrettable that a government official of this position could flaunt this directive by the very government his is serving. This sent a wrong signal as many other people conducted weddings.
CITAD used the following as its case study in this report:
- Friday mosques including Kofar Nassarawa Friday mosque, Sheik Jaafar Mahmoud Adam Friday Mosque Sabuwar Gandu, BUK and the Central Mosque Emir of Kanoâ€™s palace. The Friday prayers were held in these mosques without any prevention measures in place.
- Markets places including Dawanau market, Sabon Gari market, France road market, Kwari market, Janguza market and Abubakar Rimi market. Our observers found out that market activities are going on as usual without any prevention measures in place.
- State boarders including Zakirai- Ringim, Kano-Zaria, and Kano-Dutse. In the case of Dutse, people now go to Takai and take the road to Albasu from there, they take a feeder road to Dutse where there is no border check point. People going to Bauchi, Gombe, Yola, Maiduguri as well as coming these places all take this route. By the time they get to Dutse, they then take Dutse to Huguma Road where they become geographically in Jigawa state and so they are not prevented from going to Birmin Kudu from where they continue their journey.
This disrespect for the directives presents to grave dangers as such large gatherings are what the virus needs to multiply and cause havoc
Based on these assessments, CITAD has deduced that:
- Some people in the state are not taking the social distancing seriously
- The government directives meant to prevent the pandemic from occurring in the state are treated with levity by greedy officials.
- There is still lack of good communication between the authority responsible for containing the spread of the virus and people
- Some religious people are still sabotaging the efforts of authorities feeding the gullible people with wrong information about the virus
- Citizens are well coopted in the process, indicating either the absence or inadequate sensitization/ enlightenment campaigns by the authorities
We call on the concerned authorities and the general public to:
- Border patrol should not be limited to highway only, feeder roads should also be included to prevent people from bypassing authorities
- Ensure adequate measures such as proper monitoring on the state’s borders to stop entering the state from any border.
- Citizens need to be fully coopted into any committee inaugurated by the state.
- Religious leaders need to be fully sensitive and punish anyone found misleading the public.
- Set a committee on public enlightenment on CoronaVirus and its preventive measures.
- The public to adhere by the guidelines set by WHO and other professional bodies.
- Government should not just focus on raising funds at the detriment of getting people to embracing preventive measures that would be effective in curtailing the spread of the virus
CITAD is issuing this assessment as part of its commitment to an informed citizenry as critical pillar in the fight against COVID 19. It will continue to offer such assessment for time to time or as the situation demands.