Maryam Imam Lawal
Since the return of Nigeria to the current democratic dispensation sixteen years ago, much has been said by politicians, their aids, loyalists and image makers on the dividends of democracy accorded to people in various communities. Though arguably among political analysts and observers as to whether the facilities are truly dividends or right-essentials of life; it must be acknowledged that the provision of such amenities as water, roads, electricity etc. is urban- centred. For instance in kano, in the past sixteen years, tremendous success have been recorded in developments largely in metropolitan areas and urban local government headquarters; to the detriment of outskirts and slum areas.
Though bad roads and lack of other social infrastructure is almost always eminent in many local communities in Nigeria, Tsamawa, a small village that lies approximately 8 kilometres away from kumbotso local government area in kano state is bedevilled with huge problems ranging from bad road, lack of primary health care, lack of electricity and so on, consequently bringing untold hardship to its residents.
Basic essentials of life such as portable drinking water, and hospitals have never existed in the long history of the area. One wonders as to how the infant and maternal mortality in the area could be put to a halt in such a situation. In addition the area is not only left behind, but also does not start to benefit from the whooping educational allocation of kano state government. The only primary school built is just a block with five classes that does not even contain the pupils enrolled there in, forcing some of them to hold classes under the three.
Despite its political relevance and active participation of its residents during elections, the community members lament what they called “political betrayal” by politicians who fielded several promises during campaigns, but to no avail.
The road linking the community with the local government is terribly bad .A supposed 10 minutes ride by car will take roughly 35 minutes, which is not enough to tell how bad the situation is.
There were series of maternal death as a result of bad road, which has consistently become an obstacle for residents to access health facilities on time.
Bad road is not enough to explain the untold hardship faced by this community; electricity, portable water, functional primary health care among others is far from being sighted.
Lack of primary health care in the area is an addition of the huge problems faced by residents, consequently leading to the death of “many pregnant women” over the years due to lack of medical personnel and facilities.
The only medical or health personnel that visit the community as stated by Ali Bala Tsamawa, a resident and Head of vigilante group were polio vaccinators who usually embark on house to house immunisation.
What is painful according to him is the fact that politicians during campaigns troop to the area to canvass for votes, but immediately turn down all their demands after winning elections.
In another development, lack of electricity is another big headache in the area, where there were series of promises made to them by the state government to provide them with electricity which is still a mirage according to a resident identified as Mohammad Ahmad.
He said for about nine years since the state government made the promise, no sign of its actualisation as at the time of writing this piece.
In a letter dated 17th June, 2015 and jointly signed by Rabiu Yahaya Tsamawa and Magaji Umar, both chairman and secretary, Tsamawa Progressive Development Association, the community writes to the local government chairman to remind him about the promises made by the then deputy governor of kano now the executive governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, but it still falls on deaf ears.
The letter also indicates that on several occasion, the community had turn down polio vaccination because of what they described as “total neglect” from government to alleviate their sufferings particularly bad road and lack of electricity.
Investigations by this writer confirmed that there were promises made by both the state and local Government to end the suffering of the community, but no sign of actualisation as at the time of filling this piece.
But for Ali Tsamawa, the Head of the vigilante in the community, the only solution is the threat he posed, “from now henceforth, no politician should think of getting our support, unless our problems are solved”.
But the question is, how far could this threat by Ali Tsamawa go in calling the attention of those involve to solve these teaming problems since the letter written to the chairman fell on deaf ears? Only time shall tell.
Maryam Imam Lawal, a four hundred level student writes from Bayero University Kano.08033676737, [email protected]