When, I look at the sky, The beautiful color reminds me of my childhood when most of the time Batsari looks exactly like blue with beautiful weather during early weeks of the raining season. Time is going and things happened accordingly. Batsari for nearly decades popularly known for it is unyielding hospitality to accommodate visitors which most of them are from neighboring countries like, Niger republic and Libya most of them are being in Batsari to seek for Islamic knowledge as (“Almajiri” Student) the diversity of Batsari people attract a lot people which make the town among the best in Katsina state, By then we live in peace, love and harmony. What a beautiful life we had then.
For the past decades we’ve been recoded as one of the peaceful areas in Katsina likewise in the entire northern Nigeria, but just of the recent my thoughts were quickly overwhelmed with the shocking tragedy facing Batsari today; thousand are displaced, and hundreds have fled the town for fear of being killed or kidnapped by the bandits and many who have managed to flee Batsari have not found safety.
Many refugees live homeless on Batsari streets as most of the insurgency occurred within the rural villages under Batsari, eventually no room for the thousands that continue to spill over the border.
It is indeed not surprising the continues killing and kidnappings in Batsari we have the higher population but yet we lack social development, lack of quality education and above all lack of quality healthcare, at this precious moment not only in Batsari but the entire northern country no one is safe, from the poor to middle class and the government officials, This is indeed worrisome.
Lack of social development is the result of the desperation and frustration, which to the extent people can do everything to survive, do to the lack of social development within our communities people don’t even value their lives because they are not educated how do thing they can value others people lives? The situation is unimaginable, Thing about this; if a person who is uneducated, poor, desperate, and frustrated have no food to eat at this pavoitable moment that money has become the only means of survival why won’t they join kidnapping or any terrorist organization to get the money? and they don’t care if they die because they have no value for their lives merly because they are not educated.
Meanwhile those people in rural communities deserve a decent home, they deserve a decent environment, they deserve respect, and we seem to have forgotten that we are not better than them. Sometime I ask myself a lot of questions along with other concerned citizen, we have been seeking answers, why are we losing our values of dignity, self-belief and pride, why are we allowing our selves to be humiliated just so that we can have crumbs from our commonwealth?
Why are the community leaders not rising up to our defense? Why does it appear that we all can be bought for peanuts?
You do not have to be poor to feel the pains of a common man; you only need to have fear of God. You only need to have humility, you only need to have humanity and you must be capable of listening so that you can hear when people are crying. You must be paying attention so that you can see when the people are losing focus and are making the wrong choices in life. You do not have to be a counselor, chairman, honorable member or governor to know this is not the way to go. You cannot see yourself as superior to the people you seek to lead. You cannot believe you are better than, the man who has not been given a choice, when you do those, than you can no longer claim to see hunger and anger in the faces of people. You cannot claim to still hear when they cry no matter what position you occupy in your community in your place of work, or government, you have lost the right to lead the people.
At this moment it is difficult to envision Batsari future; a cry of the poor people is horrible enough, it is even worse when you complete how people are caught in a no man’s land between Niger republic and Libya with no school for their children, no playground and an uncertain road ahead and of course Batsari people will never forget those who paid the ultimate price for sacrificing their lives since the insurgency began, and untold thousands still languished in the hand of the bandits.
But despite all that, a love of life has helped Batsari persevere, the residents of the villages affected with the insurgencies have started returning to their homes and their shops, they begun to established a good life, but still government, policy makers, investors, private individuals, schools and politicians need to do more, because you most begin to ask yourself the hard questions when those people are left to rot and their values are debased, what happens to your so-collet privileged children? how are you going to face your God when this vanity comes to an end?
Babangida Ruma is Youth and leadership development expert who contributed to informed youth policy dialogues in the African region.