Katsina N900m 3km Road Project: A Joke Only A Man With Great Humor Can Get – Malam Naini Musa
It is one of those things someone says and your brain immediately says “well maybe he didn’t mean it. That goes against the laws of logic.” Well in this case nobody is kidding you. It is absolutely true that Katsina state spent a whooping N900m on a road project that stretches only 3km. bloody impressive. And why not, build the damn thing, it is not like anything else is functioning in our state. The gloomy faces everyone is putting up out of fear of getting ambushed while they travel or kidnapped from their own houses or just shot at for sport, those gloomy faces need a jolt of electricity. What is more electrifying than finding out that a small and generally poor state like Katsina has just spent N900m on a road project 3km long? Now that is priceless comedy, if you are not laughing it is only because you have no sense of humor.
To be honest maybe that bridge is absolutely necessary. There is no question that Nigerian border with Niger Republic is a vital one, everyday thousands of people from both nations troop into their neighboring country to make trades ranging from thousands to millions. Trade between Nigeria and Niger is absolutely vital, no one knows this more than the people in Katsina. We love and value it for all the sustenance it gives our citizens. One would argue that if there is a way to smooth things and make trade easier and more comfortable then by all means, let us do it.
Even if there is no trade, we still need to transport ourselves. Infrastructure must be laid to improve movement. The people in this area are citizens and they are entitled to infrastructure like everyone else. I was born and raised in Katsina metropolis. Throughout my decades of existence, I have witnessed growth and development in all spheres of my life. Katsina was a small place in the 90’s and early 2000’s but the dividend of democracy has stretched this small town into something we are all proud of. I for one liked the transformation. So I cannot possibly have any point against other people experiencing development.
While no sane person would argue against easing trade or spreading the dividend of democracy, I think where most people have a bone to pick with this issue is trust. I for one do not have the slightest faith in the present administration. While I am sure there are some small things to celebrate about them, overall, I think they have dragged us back so many steps backward.
My lack of faith in them is borne out of the deceit and sleight of hand they have pulled against us. Firstly, for a government that came on a slogan of anti-corruption, according to the whistle blower, Mahdi Shehu, it seems to be smeared in so much of it. Secondly and most painful of all, It has also failed woefully in proving the corruption they have been accusing the previous government of. They spent the better half of their first tenure throwing all shades of allegation against the government of its predecessor, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema, but just last year, the governor was seen embracing the former governor. What is the governor doing embracing the man he made out to be state enemy number 1? Surely it is inappropriate to embrace the man that wounded us? It may not be illegal but it sure is unethical.
Till this very day, Shema is walking the streets of Nigeria as a free man. Did we spend years prosecuting a free man? Or did the king of amnesty offer him one of those sweet deals he is so good at giving? Surprisingly, in a video that was said to be from the event where the two men embraced, people were chanting for the return of the man who supervised the alleged corruption. Only this administration is bad enough to make Lincoln of the government of shema considering the heavy loss they suffered in the 2015 election. Today, many katsina citizens will curse themselves for making those choices.
I do not understand these people. This are people that are so meticulous. They even went as far as renaming housing estates. In a move that can be likened to Nollywood dramas about jealous housewives, this government refused to allow the use of Katsina city mall. They refused to maintain traffic lights that was installed by the previous government. These and many more moves that are totally against reason and common sense are still the modus operandi of this administration.
The security of our lives and property have never been this worse, and we are still sinking in that aspect. Our infrastructure is deteriorating. Freedom of speech and expression is being stifled, case in point, the treatment of #SecureNorth protesters. I would believe the existence of Unicorns before I consider any argument in favor of this government giving the slightest of care to any of its citizens. I for one consider this phase to be a punishment from the almighty for our negligence in his rights towards us. We will wait this one out, change our ways and pray for a brighter future for katsina and Nigeria in as a whole.
Mallam Naini Musa
Mallam Naini Musa is a writer and social critic.