safety murtala traders
The entrance to Murtala Mohammed Hospital is blocked by hawkers and traders making it a dangerous situation.

SAFETY; On Murtala Mohammed Hospital and Disturbing Surroundings By Bashir Chedi

I am writing to bring to the government’s attention a critical issue that poses a significant threat to public safety and well-being in the above-mentioned area and indeed in many parts of Kano metropolitans. The main road leading to the hospital is currently facing severe challenges due to the encroachment by hawkers and traders. This situation not only violates traffic laws but also raises concerns about sanitation, hygiene, and public inconveniences.

My little investigation shows a lack of political will, politicization, community disregard and lack of cooperation, fatalistic tendency and I-don’t-care-attitude of the people including people of high places and authority that ply the road everyday and kept mute about and look the other way for reasons to preserve their positions out of fear of the political governments or the politicians that run the government.

The key issues that require immediate attention include:

1. Traffic Law Violations: The encroachment by hawkers and traders is causing serious traffic congestion, hindering the smooth flow of vehicles, and posing a risk to emergency services accessing the hospital.

2. Public Safety Concerns: The crowded and chaotic conditions on the main road are jeopardizing the safety of pedestrians, drivers, and passengers. This poses an imminent threat to public safety, especially considering the road’s significance in leading to a hospital.

3. Sanitation and Hygiene Issues: The unauthorized occupation of the road by hawkers is leading to unsanitary conditions, affecting the overall hygiene of the area. This is particularly worrisome given the proximity to a healthcare facility.

4. Public Inconveniences: The encroachment is causing significant inconveniences for the public, including longer commute times, difficulty accessing the hospital, and general discomfort for residents and visitors alike.

5. Distortion of city master plan: Though I cannot say for certain what is the original plan of Kano city particularly as it affects the area in question, Rimi Market to Yansantsi to Yola – Gabari and Kurmi Market, Kofar Mata pass by the hospital through Shahuci, Massalacin Jumma’a up to Mandawari and beyond. Or even the city as a whole. I’m sure Audu Bako’s regime (blessed memory) must have had one.

6. Short-Changing of Government Revenue: As these chaotic conditions persist, the government is being short-changed by its revenue collectors. All sorts of receipts are given as most of the hawkers and illegal traders paid their so-called taxes, which in turn give them a sense of entitlement as they have paid to the government and are therefore justified to continue to carry on with their filthy business at the detriment of all the points mentioned above.

7. Security Threat and Moral Predicament: looking at the matter from a security perspective is a subject of its own. No doubt any casual security assessment will define the area as a very High Security Risk to everybody. Its consequences are better imagined. Going hand in hand with the security hazard prevalent in all these areas are morality predicament. All God knows the immorality taking place in the area. Girl abuse, adultery and many vices taking place. Sales of stolen goods and clothes are the common things to note. Sales of hard drugs and their trafficking are of very serious concern and at an alarming rate.

This is a clarion call for immediate action to be taken to address these issues and restore order without necessarily resorting to cheap popularity by the politicians and resorting to the dignity of the environment, particularly as it affects the main road leading to the hospital. This may involve increased enforcement of traffic regulations, regular monitoring of the area, and the implementation of measures to discourage unauthorized occupation of public spaces. The swift resolution of this matter is crucial to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community members. All hands must be on deck by the government, community leaders and all that are concerned.

Trade and commerce indeed agriculture are the mainstay and critical to the state. We must change how we do business for the state to strive and be within the comity of states and nations very conducive to doing business in unrestricted manners, devoid of being a public nuisance and environmentally friendly. Today borders have been collapsed, a lot to learn from others and aspire to be like them. Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Jeddah, Mecca in Saudi Arabia, India, Kigali and even Lagos are enough examples to take home and for our government to emulate. I will appreciate it if we propagate ideas of bringing sanity and its restoration. Please join and let’s amplify and advocate this and continue promptly drawing government attention to this urgent matter and look forward to witnessing positive changes in the near future.

Thank you for your dedication to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our beloved Kano City

Bashir Chedi, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) writes from Kaduna