I got the frightening news from Liberty TV 8:00pm Hausa News, 27th August 2017, that one Rabe Umaru from Kafur Local Government of our dear Katsina State was lynched to death in Ekiti State. The leader of spare parts sellers, or ‘Yan Gwangwan as they reported in Hausa, provided the information to the newsmen that Rabe was not a thief. He arrived to Ekiti just two days and as he was looking for dumped metals in the gutter, a group of people shouted ole! ole! In a flash, mob gathered and lynched Rabe and dumped his corpse in the swamp. The leader of the spare parts, a Yoruba man, insisted that Rabe was not a thief. He was in the state looking for job and he could neither speak English nor Yoruba. His corpse was later discovered in mortuary dumped by the police. The shocking news made me blamed myself and everyone in this state. Rabe’s unfortunate death should made us all listen to ourselves and tell ourselves the stark truth on how we got to this point of losing young people because we cannot give them the needed crafts to live and prosper in this world.
Rabe was among the many young people going to the Southern part of the country in search of deplorable jobs -guards, motorcycle riders, nail cutting, (unprofessional manicure), “shoe shiner” etc. These people are also easy targets in times of ethnic tensions. Rabe’s unfortunate death reminded me how one Yunusa Dahiru (Yellow) from Kano was imprisoned in Bayelsa for falling in love with a lady over there. The lady, Ese Oruru, with the consent of her mother, joined her love to Kano where she converted to Islam and married Yellow. But later, Yellow was arrested, taken to Bayelsa and convicted for kidnapping the lady!
These people are also victims of robberies and are soft targets all the times when the Hausas are attacked elsewhere. They faced humiliations in doing their businesses. Some of their degrading names are “aboki” “malam” etc. The question that begins to ask itself when you look at this issue is, “Why is it that the Igbos and Yoruba, for example, are not doing these kinds of jobs in the North?”
In my understanding, the failure of our youths to access sound education is one factor. Ill-prepared and virtually illiterate, with no job opportunities, these people think that they can find greener pasture in the South. That’s why there is always an exodus of young people trooping into the South. What happens to them? We don’t seem to care. We see them as liability and when they leave, we don’t bother to ask how they fare down there.
The North is “blessed” with unpatriotic rich people and careless leaders. The Dangotes have invested billions in Lagos at the same time when companies in Kano are shut down on daily basis. Even the Chinese that are still trying to stay are being frustrated by corruption and boring bureaucracy. Thus, with no jobs in Kano, the commercial hub of the North, these young people rushed to places where they are not welcomed.
To decisively address this situation, our state governments ought to provide atmospheres conducive for investors and must “coerce” the Dangotes to help their immediate societies. The North is too rich to perish in poverty.
Our economic experts too should step in to guide us on how to stop sending away jobs when indices tabled us as economically unstable. Take for example, the way we send trucks loaded with cows to the South every day. If we can start processing the meat here and send it over there, imagine the economic buoyancy we can record here. Slaughter houses will be built all over our states. Young people will find jobs in these places. The same with Tomato and the rest.
Our state governments should, at a matter of urgency, increase their budgets on education. We still need to educationally empower the likes of late Rabe to enable them seek for jobs that are decent. We cannot, we must not continue to let our young people taking path to their destruction.
Rest In Peace Rabe Umaru. Katsina Remembers you.
Dikko Wurma Muhammad.