Envisaging The Extermination Of Kano

By Bala Ibrahim

As a city and probably a race, Kano is likely in the queue for extinction. Death, has virtually gotten a residence permit in Kano, and is making its presence felt in every house of every ward in the city and the state. People are dying at a rate that is fast becoming impossible to keep tabs on.

Early in the morning today, my friend updated me with the news of his sister’s demise. Her brother died a day earlier. I was in the process of composing a text message of condolence to another friend, who lost a close friend yesterday, and who posted the death of a relation on Facebook this afternoon, when another call came. This time around, it’s the sad news of the death of Professor Balarabe Maikaba, former Head of department of mass communications, BUK.

As Muslims, we can only say, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un, which in the Qur’an means- Verily we belong to God, and verily to Him do we return.

Indeed Kano is witnessing or experiencing an unprecedented challenge in tragedy. The death figures, and the questions behind the mystery of the deaths, have gone high enough to the point that people are beginning to ask the Federal Government to declare a state of Emergency in the state.

Through a letter, circulated to the press today sunday, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has given the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, seven days to publish the full report of the investigation into the mysterious deaths in Kano State, or be ready for an action.

Falana said the federal government should take over the situation of Kano, because the leadership seems overwhelmed, expressing concern over the burials conducted in the state without any official information from the government.

“During a press briefing held at Abuja a week ago, you announced that the Federal Ministry of Health, the Kano State Chief Epidemiologist, Officials of the Kano Public Health Department and those of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had commenced investigation into the strange deaths and mass burials currently going on in Kano State. The people of Kano State and Nigerians, in general, are worried over the worsening health crisis as it may spread to other parts of Kano State not yet affected as well as other parts of the country if not urgently addressed. But since the Kano State Government is completely overwhelmed, we hereby, call on the Federal Government to take over the management of the crisis without any further delay”-Femi Falana,SAN.

The kano situation is particularly worrisome because of the perceived reluctance of the government to do the needful, and carry the public along in that endeavor, so that it can be seen whether they are doing the needful.

With the abundance of experienced and knowledgeable hands on epidemiology, Kano should not make itself a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.

When the big pharmaceutical companies of the world want to do a research on any disease, the government of Kano is always ready to release the state as a test laboratory, citing population and unique setting as reasons for doing so. But why is it that when Kano is the patient, the government is playing the recalcitrant?

With Malaria, which is one of the most severe global public health problems in Africa, where Nigeria has the greatest number of cases, Kano was used to carry out a community-based studies, particularly on the prevalence and risk factors, alongside the public attitudes and practices. The research helped in drawing out plans on how to confront the problem.

Although it came with some problems, similar thing was done by Pfizer, using Trovan in Kano during an epidemic of bacterial meningitis. Why is the state not ready to commission a study or epidemiological survey now?

Going by the sayings of experts, who claimed that Infectious diseases, especially virulent infectious diseases, are commonly regarded as causes of fluctuation or decline in biological populations, one may ask, Is Kano on the road to such fate? Is there a plan to deliberately reduce the population of Kano, by taking advantage of the leadership’s weakness?

The Kano situation is gradually going out of hand, and the sooner it dawn upon the leadership to do the needful, the better for everyone.

Failure to do that, may give room for suspicion that, the leadership is part of the plan.