I horribly learnt of the demise of Abdullahi Mohammed Madugu who was attacked, robbed and then stabbed in the neck by a group of vicious and soulless Kauraye in Katsina. The word “Kauraye” sends shivers down the spine of any person living in Katsina metropolis. They are usually a group of disillusioned, reckless, and dangerous young men armed with machetes, swords, cutlasses wrecking havoc and disturbing the peaceful ancient city. Their heydays were extremely horrible. The former governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, had to clampdown on them vehemently decisively before they were temporarily stopped from unleashing such brutality.
His reaction was very steep that people preferred the term “6arawo,” a thief than “Kaura,” a hooligan. Their operation was contained in a very limited time. However, they quickly resurfaced again. During the elections, they served as the best and easily accessible weapons used by politicians. Now, since the coming of this administration, the Kauraye have been slowly reorganising and conducting operations here and there in Katsina Metropolis.
However, Katsina is not the only State with this problem. In the neighbouring Zamfara, our colleague, Naziru Murtala, a graduate of History, was killed in broad daylight in front of their house by this same set of people. In Kano, during the last Sallah, we were warned not visit certain place in the city, an area very close to the Emir’s palace. In Bauchi-Gombe axis, people still sleep with perpetual fear of the ‘yan kalare and the sara-sukas. In Sokoto, in one of my visits, I learnt of the “sai Alu na gawon nama ko kafar katako,” a violent political tag which could be loosely translated as, “vote for Alu or be amputated.”
In fact, this violence is not restricted to the northern part of Nigeria. I am writing from Ile-Ife in Osun State right now. I asked a friend yesterday on how to get to the ancient city. It was around 5pm. But he strongly advised me against it, that it was dangerous, that even “indigenous” people could be attacked in such hour let alone an obvious stranger.
The causes of this violence is, just like many problems with Nigeria, known to almost everyone of us. But often we are too dumb (excuse my language) to come up with any working solution in addressing it. The major cause is our negligent attitude with regards to the manner in which children are now raised. The result is always calamitous when people’s sole concern is how and nothing but how to feed their children. When upbringing is reduced to eating; humans equated with animals to eat and grow, then the very foundation upon which a society is built begins to tremble and heads it’s way to destruction. Right now, people are marrying and producing children without knowing or planning of how to raise these children for their benefits and that of the society. Our values now exist only in stained books which nobody reads any longer. Everything is viewed materially. There is no any dichotomy between legitimate and illegitimate wealth. As a people, we have rubber-stamped the capitalist notion of “the end justifies the means” and respect is accorded only to the money-owning class. Every “stolable” naira is now stolen and deposited in Swiss banks or converted to mansions in Dubai and London, leaving the ordinary man with no option but to become a Kaura, a Kalare or Dan daba.
Now, not to run out of pen, (sorry, space) I want us to ponder on how to curtail this menace before the monster grows wings. There must be decisive response, a very severe and unapologetic one, from the government. This must be done with every sincerity of purpose because our lives are obviously in danger. I don’t belong to the group which sees everything as business of the government and no one but the government. As a people, there are ways we can prevent ourselves and our properties. In some troubled areas in Kano, committees were set up comprising the residents, in collaboration with the police. These committees are now feared more than the police themselves. They are quite effective and their number is enormous. (I have a template of how they operate). If the hunted, (peaceful residents of Katsina) learn to hunt the hunters (Kauraye) then the whole hunting game would definitely abruptly stopped. These Kauraye did not come from the moon. They are known and their parents are known too. The only way to address the looming danger is to confront it squarely.
There should be re-orientation on the responsibilities of parents on proper upbringing not only proper feeding. In this way, discipline could be inculcated into our offsprings. This will help them to understand that there must be another way of making a living, not through unleashing of violence.
The religious institution too needed to re-focus on this aspect as a spiritual force which people listened to more than every other body. It has to intensify on this issue and advise the government on how to curtail it. These acts go contrary to the provisions made in our religion on how to sustain oneself.
Significantly, the traditional leaders must be co-opted fully for intelligence gathering about the identities of these hooligans and their families. These hoodlums must be exposed and a sustained pressure from the people would make sure that they don’t get released by the police no matter the amount tendered by someone for their release.
Yes as usual, in as long as leaders continue to rob the treasury, squandering every penny there is, then the “Kaurayes” and other elements would and must continue to resurface with a mission to destroy everyone. This adage, “a poor man’s mind is a devil workshop” though used and almost worn out, is still practical. These hoodlums were produced by the society and hence, it must cater for them by providing jobs opportunities to them and tapping their skills for the general good.
May Abdullahi Mohammed Rest in Perfect Peace, may his killers be apprehended to face the wrath of law; and may that tragic death be the last of such in Katsina, and Nigeria in general.