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Being a paper prepared for Inuwar Jama’ar Kano
Ibrahim Ado-Kurawa B. Sc (HONS) M. Sc Zoology (Applied Entomology)
Director Research, Institute for Contemporary Research (ICR) Kano and General Editor Weekly Pyramid The Magazine
Kano, Nigeria
© 2001

Since May 1953 there have been many riots in Kano. The ferocity of these uprisings and the human and material cost has always increased. The nature of state and elite responses has also been consistent. The state always sets up a commission of inquiry with a promise that it will never allow such a thing to occur again. Whereas the elites always condemn with a call for the government to take decisive action against the culprits and sometimes the perpetrators were punished. But why have these riots continue to occur despite previous lessons and their threat to the survival of the society?

Inuwar Jama’ar Kano (Kano Forum), which is part of the civil society should as a matter of public responsibility try to find out the reasons for the persistent occurrence of riots in Kano. Since it is an independent organization it is expected to analyze issues objectively and advice the state and the society without fear or favor. Anything short of this will be violation of Divine injunction. To achieve this noble objective the organization will have to commission researchers to investigate the causes of these riots. The research will involve both library and field work. This short piece is just a preliminary survey of some of the causes with a few suggestions that may help in reducing social tensions.

The following could be identified as some of the numerous causes of Kano riots over in the last half a century:

Kano and other parts of the Sokoto Caliphate were defeated in a military encounter with the British imperialists and were subsequently incorporated into the British Empire. Colonial rule was a Western Christian innovation of dominating other peoples. The intention of the colonialists was primarily to exploit the resources of the colonized people without any regard to human sufferings based on their epistemological vision. Part of that scheme was the imposition of European culture as a facilitator of the economic exploitation. Naturally all the peoples resisted colonialism more especially Muslims. But the Europeans were skillful. They made compromises as long as their economic interests were not threatened. In northern Nigeria they introduced indirect rule for practical reasons. It was convenient for them as well as for the native ruling class. The radicals viewed this as the Anglo-Fulani alliance.

After establishing themselves as new masters the British colonialists then began to demolish all the existing institutions some of which were replaced with European inspired ones while others were not replaced at all. One of the first casualties was the social welfare institution. Both Clapperton and Bourdon have noted the operation of the poor rate system in the Sokoto Caliphate under which the destitute and students were taken care of by the state. The colonialists abolished this system without any replacement despite resistance from the emirate authorities.

Another casualty was the Shari’ah legal system. It was bastardized and reduced to the levels acceptable to the British. That was not all the British tried to encourage the Emirs to use siyasa (politics) as a means of independent judgment so that Shari'ah could be abrogated but to his eternal credit Sarkin Kano Abbas resisted. The British made the introduction of the penal code a condition for granting independence. The penal code is a syncretization of Shari'ah and English law because it accepted some of the crimes recognized by the Shari'ah but adopted different procedures and punishments. Sardauna has documented in his autobiography that the British made it clear that there will be no foreign investments unless this "reform" was made. Forty years after independence and the penal code in the north, foreign investments have not been forthcoming and the states and federal government are still soliciting for such investments. And up to 1970, ten years after independence Muslims were humiliated with a Supreme Court judgment, which quashed a High Court judgment based on Islamic personal law because it was incompatible with the English Wills Act of 1870.

Meanwhile with the global resurgence of Islam and expansion of Muslim awareness through community based Islamic education provided by Islamiyya schools, Muslims intensified their demand for Shari'ah and restoration of their dignity. Most scholars have agreed that it is only Islam that could mobilize Muslims. Then came Ahmed Sani Yariman Bakura who mobilized the Muslims and expanded the scope of the Shari'ah by incorporating its criminal code as a positive law of the state. All over Northern Nigeria Muslims began to agitate for the restoration of Shari'ah as was done in Zamfara State. Most of the governors of the predominantly Muslim states had no option but succumb to the pressure and with reluctance restored the Shari'ah in theory.

As usual those who are against the Shari'ah had to device the means of domesticating it as they did to all other Islamic revival movements. Several strategies were adopted. The most apparent is propaganda especially against Ahmed Sani. They capitalized on his weaknesses by downplaying his egalitarian successes. When that failed they resorted to political thuggery and intimidation. During one of those encounters the beneficiaries of Zamfara loan scheme came to his rescue especially those who were given credit to purchase donkeys.

It has been alleged that Kano State government made several attempts to break the solidarity among the Ulama, which was one of the dividends of Shari'ah agitation. This was achieved by exploiting the Sufi and anti-Sufi differences. The community-based hisba (vigilant group) was truncated. Had this system been empowered the 'yan daba (hooligans) may not have unleashed mayhem after the genuine peaceful protests have ended quietly. For as long as the state wants to domesticate the Shari'ah through manipulation of differences of groups along with refusal to empower the community based hisba, there will always be room for the break down of law and order.

The other area that suffered the colonial onslaught was the educational sector. The colonialist introduced secular education and made every attempt to obliterate the Islamic education that was in place before their advent. Products of traditional Islamic schools (madrasah) who became Ulama (scholars) were not accorded respect. At first they were employed as local judges (alkalai) and district heads (hakimai). They distinguished themselves as able administrators during the reign of Sarkin Kano Abdullahi Bayero who listened to their counsel. Later they were dropped. And things changed to worse whereby a partially western educated man could become a permanent secretary while an alim (Islamic scholar) could only be a local judge or district head.

The western educated elites ('yan boko) who received secular training are largely responsible for the present state of the society. They are totally alienated from the people. They have even destroyed the system that produced them. None of them take their children or wards to public schools even those involved in the management of such schools have no confidence in what they manage. This can only happen in society that is heading towards total collapse. The schools have become breeding grounds of 'yan daba. The products of such schools hardly pass qualifying examinations. Western educated elites have betrayed the trust of the people, but they always complain and blame others. They think the solution is blind imitation of the west.

Kano was the home of NEPU, the grass-root political party that challenged the ruling class during the colonial period and the first republic. It used Islam to mobilize the talakawa (commoners) against the ruling class. The colonial rulers used the native authority for their indirect rule system. The talakawa were oppressed through taxation, forced labor and extortion. NEPU campaigned vigorously against oppression by the ruling class, the talakawa listened thus the legitimacy of the traditional rulers was eroded.

PRP was the successor of the NEPU and it actualized NEPU's dream by capturing power in the second republic. It continued with the campaign against traditional authority even though the later had lost most of its power. The Emir maintained his dignity by assuming community leadership.

Later the PRP was fractionalized because of internal contradictions. Kano politics became tripartite. The conservative faction made up of mostly those who were in NPC, NPN, NRC and ANC. The second group, are the successors of Mallam Aminu Kano also known as ta~~o. The third group, are the followers of Rimi who broke away from the PRP leadership and they are also known as the santsi. The Maitatsine uprising of 1980 made the menace of 'yan daba who are mostly armed with traditional weapons more pronounced as each of these groups maintained its 'yan banga (body guards) who were recruited from the 'yan daba. Violence between these groups remained more rampant during civilian regimes. And recently some politicians resisted the attempt by hisba groups to contain the 'yan banga. Politics in Kano eroded the authority of traditional rulers at the grass root level or ward level (mai unguwa-ward head and dagachi-village head) especially in the urban areas. There is yet to emerge any alternative to this leadership because elected officials are always alienated from the people immediately after election therefore they cannot provide effective community leadership.

Nigerian economy since the colonial times has been largely driven by export of raw materials this was one of the aims of colonialism and even subsequent western strategies of neo-colonialism and globalization. The north especially Kano was a major producer of groundnuts. In fact Kano produced half of Nigeria's groundnut which was about half million tons during peak periods.

Oil replaced agricultural commodities as the main source of foreign exchange and government revenue. The oil boom of the 1970's made the government to neglect agriculture. Many of the rural dwellers rushed to the cities in search of “greener” pastures. Government at the federal and state levels formulated policies for the revival of agricultural productivity and poverty alleviation because the survival of the society was threatened, as Nigeria became an importer of food. Among these policies were the operation feed the nation, green revolution, better life for rural women and family economic advancement programme. The present administration has launched its poverty alleviation programme. Agricultural practitioners have complained that they have not benefited from previous programmes hence the present state of poverty especially in northern Nigeria.

The federal government made attempts to encourage industrialization in Nigeria through several programmes and institutions such as NIDB (Nigeria Industrial Development Bank), NBCI (Nigeria Bank for Commerce and Industry) and NERFUND (National Economic Recovery Fund), which was privileged to have a Kano indigene as chairman. There is need to conduct thorough research to know whether Kano has adequately benefited from these programmes and institutions. The people of Kano have been known for the “extensive initiative and perseverance” hence they pioneered the first textile industry in Nigeria. It should be noted that even in the pre-colonial period Kano “was probably Nigeria’s most celebrated textile exporting centre”. Kano’s products were in high demand even in North Africa and it was rightly observed that: Almost as far as the Nile, and certainly in Southern Morocco, the blue haiques and burnouse of semi-Arab and Moorish tribes are the products of craftsmen in Kano and Sokoto, and this ‘country cloth’, as, it is called, is worth much more along the coast than any turned out in Manchester.

The task before us now is that even if we cannot produce better than imported items we should at least be able to revive the spirit of hard work and enterprise.

Private investors established most of the industries in Kano. The regional government during the second republic established no industry in Kano as it did in Kaduna and Sokoto, which hosted the textile and cement industries respectively. The Federal Government established only one industry in Kano, the National Truck Manufacturers (NTM), a commercial vehicle assembly plant that was never viable because of its dubious foundation and it has since closed down. But in Kaduna, the federal government established a fertilizer plant, a motor assembly plant and a refinery. The last two are all functioning and the refinery is perhaps the most important industry in northern Nigeria.

Most of the industries established in Nigeria during the oil boom era were import substitution based and with the fall in oil prices, the value of naira crashed, most of them collapsed because they relied on imported raw materials. The worst affected were those in the north especially Kano. This is because the transportation cost from Lagos to Kano skyrocketed, they could not compete with those in Lagos or Otta. Since there is no railway, it will be difficult to restore such establishments. Energy supply to Kano has also remained epileptic. The cost of diesel, which is used by generators, has also skyrocketed especially in Kano, because the area is always deprived of petroleum products. These and other reasons made many factories to close and render their workers unemployed. These people have migrated to the cities from the rural areas during the good days. They have given birth to many children. Who will feed the children who went to neglected schools and passed out without any qualification to proceed further or get any job? It is in this light that we should appreciate the ferocity of riots in settlements of factory laborers such as Brigade, Rimin Kebe and Kurna-Bachirawa. The state government has not yet implemented some of the key recommendations of the committee on resuscitation of industries for example the state industries revitalization forum has not yet met as recommended by the committee and accepted by the state government since one and half years ago. Most previous administrations in Kano have not successfully initiated programmes that will revive agriculture. For example there was a time KNARDA (Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority) received loan and purchased motor vehicles for use in offices to convey children of the top management to private schools. Nobody cared to question this flagrant abuse of public trust. The money should have been used to purchase agricultural equipment such as tractors. Many local government councils do not have tractors and those that have such tractors they have been commandeered by the top officials. Many villagers do not even have donkeys this has caused hardship to most of them. In this era when one-piston tractor cost just about $1000, farmers are still engaged in primitive techniques. A man who cannot afford a donkey of _6000 will certainly send his child to beg because he cannot feed him.

Even commercial activity in Kano has not received significant encouragement from the government despite the rhetoric of center of commerce. Commercial activity in Kano received its first encouragement with the establishment of Kurmi Market by Sarkin Kano Muhammad Rumfa in the 16th century CE. Subsequent leaders made contributions to the emergence of Kano as a leading commercial center in the Sudan. For example Sarkin Kano Ibrahim Dabo in the 19th century encouraged traders to move from Katsina because of Maradi raid. This was one of major contributing factors that made Kano the richest province in the Sokoto Caliphate.

With the abolishing of marketing boards no effort was made by the Kano State government to ensure that the farmers get a better bargain for their produce. Yet Kano has the largest agricultural commodities market (Dawanau) in West Africa largely built without government assistance. There is no telephone in that market and it is the responsibility of the state government to present the case to the federal authorities. Electricity is also not sufficient in the market. Based on common sense these two services are viable in the market. Lack of telephone has hindered the provision of banking services, which is a serious threat to security of life and property. The flourishing of commerce will stimulate economic activity thereby generating employment for people. It is therefore the responsibility of the government to encourage commercial activity. The integration of commerce and craft industry during the pre-colonial Kano contributed to the prosperity of the province. Kano was producing 10 million pairs of sandals during that period because of economic harmony. In this modern era we should do better but we are receding because of lack of ideas.
The problem of unemployment must be tackled or else there will always be recruits for public unrest.

The nature of Kano society, which is influenced by the conditions enumerated above, produced the present crop of Kano leadership. Who could be categorized into traditional, religious, political, business and retired bureaucrats (from civil, military and organized private sector). All of them in one way other have contributed to development of Kano and their complacency has contributed to social unrest. As stated earlier traditional rulers have been traumatized because of their historical role during the colonial rule with the subsequent emergence of their radical adversaries as political leaders. They seem to be happier under military rule. But they were betrayed by the last military administration, which refused to give them constitutional recognition. The military ruling clique did this with the hope that it will contribute to the return of the military since the traditional rulers are important segment of the elite. The traditional rulers have been cautious because of the antagonism of the politicians. This has not been in the over all interest of the society since they cannot use their wisdom and wealth of experience to criticize erring politicians and other leaders. A society that is denied such criticism cannot be inward looking and progressive. And despite the closeness of the lower segment of the traditional leaders to the grass roots with a potential for community mobilization they are not empowered, because they lack sustainable wage.

Religious leaders are the most respected by their followers because Islam is the most potent tool of social mobilization in any Muslim country. The greatest weakness of the religious leadership is sectarianism, which could easily be exploited by a bankrupt political leadership. This exploitation could lead to social unrest. Unless there is religious harmony peace will never reign in the society. Political leaders are the most powerful segment of the society because they control the state and it has the monopoly of the means of coercion used by its military and police agents. They also control the economy because the state has more resource than the rest of the society. The nature of the society has made it possible for bankrupt political leadership to emerge like the executive of the third republic who got elected because of fractionalization of the political class that was unable to arrive at a consensus in the SDP. It is not possible to comment on the present political leadership because they still have a chance to do better. More especially if the other leaders pressurize them for the overall interest of the society. Incompetent political leaders at the national level could also cause disaster and social unrest at the state level as observed by Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi in the New Nigerian of Friday 19th October 2001.

The lifeline of Kano for the last five hundred years has been its commerce, which reached its peak with the madugu (merchant class) of the 19th century. The greatest of all Kano business leaders was Alhassan Dantata who had a taste of the madugu era and the colonial period. He was a culmination of a successful Muslim merchant who was not greedy; his major contribution was the interest free credit he gave to other merchants. He was closely associated with religious and traditional leaders. This is the kind of solidarity that is needed to revive Kano prominence and not crude cutthroat competition that has almost paralyzed domestic airline business in Kano and Hajj operations. With the guidance and counseling of other leaders (traditional, religious and political) the business class could be made more responsible as was the case in the past when the traditional leadership and the Ulama guided the merchant class thereby ensuring the prosperity of Kano. If the business class takes the right decisions there will be prosperity and more jobs and therefore less social tensions.

As products of western secularist education the retired bureaucrats also have their own peculiarity. As people alienated from the society they always view its problems from alien perspective therefore most of the time the solutions they offer lead to failures. They were the closest to the military ruling class who patronized their services because of their wealth of experience in public service. Some of their advices contributed to the present state of affairs. The politicians marginalized them since they have a social base unlike the military. This has also not been in the overall interest of the society because there are many of them who are gentlemen of impeccable integrity for example the promoters of Inuwar Kano. There is great hope in members of this class if only they could sacrifice and promote the truth through the sensitization of the society since its civil organ is not very active.

Both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have agreed that no society will succeed if it adopts another culture. This ideology is called Kemalism after Kemal Attaturk who tried to Westernize Turkey. The ideology failed and Turkey became a torn country. Europe has refused to accept Turkey since it is not Christian. The Turkish leadership has remained humiliated as beggars instead of assuming a more dignified and impressive role as the leaders of the Muslim world based on their history, geography, human and material resources. Kano as a Muslim society must be inward looking. It should be aware of its adversaries. But it must not blame them for all its problems because that may lead to total failure since without internal problems adversaries may never succeed. In other words the society must search within itself for its problems some of which have been enumerated above. More importantly it should learn from others because "wisdom is an attribute of the believers they take from whoever".

It must also be emphasized that relaying on only “normative incentives for economic” development cannot solve all economic problems. There must be “emphasis on routine bureaucratic authority, merit, specialization, material incentives for economic effort and responsible leadership”.

This writer believes that the primary reason for the existence of 'yan daba in as much as it has its roots in the culture of the society it is essentially sustained by material poverty. In this society “poverty presents itself on a substantial scale”. Therefore the “appropriate approach would be to begin with institutional reforms accompanied by a basic need strategy, followed by intensive employment promotion and human resources development policies which could then lead to economic growth and greater total welfare without sacrificing anyone’s welfare in the process”. It is not possible to totally eradicate poverty in the society in the shortest time but it could be reduced. This may be achieved by refocusing the development strategy to include the small entrepreneurs because one of the reasons for the failure of most development plans is the “thinking big” syndrome. And it has been correctly observed that:
In the process of thinking big, anything small was bound to be forgotten. Similarly, most of the efforts of the World Bank to reach the small farmers (especially after the famous speech of McNamara in the World/IMF meeting in Nairobi in 1974), did not result in anything substantial. Aid agencies and more recently the “Ngos” were unable to reach the small farmer and, therefore, found themselves operating and wasting resources in an environment, which they could not comprehend.

It is a fact that the state government has no control over macro-economic policies, which generally determine the level of economic activity in the whole country. But it could invest wisely, reduce consumption and it could also provide incentives for investments. These will stimulate economic activity and in the long run raise the standard of living of most of the people of the state since production will be increased.

Poverty Alleviation
Several poverty alleviation programs have been initiated in Nigeria by successive administrations. It is the task of the government and relevant sections of the civil society to find the reasons for the failure of such programs.

For any poverty alleviation program to succeed it must be comprehensive in approach this will mean “having a program of well targeted transfers and safety nets for those poor who are unable to work or suffer deprivation due to some reason”. The strategy should include promoting “the productive use of the poor’s most abundant asset-labor. This requires economic policies, market incentives, sociopolitical structure, infrastructure and technology that are geared toward those ends”.

Rural Kano is largely agrarian. Therefore a successful poverty alleviation programme must be agriculturally based. Experts have treated the problems of agricultural underdevelopment. Those concerned must digest such problems. But for the benefit of this paper some of the problems must be identified. Some of these are lack of inputs and poor linkage between research institutes and the farmer because of inadequate extension services. Only about 1% of agriculture in Nigeria is mechanized it is indeed a disgrace that forty years after the Sardauna made the statement below no change has yet occurred:
There is so much to be done to develop this country that sometimes it leaves me quite dismayed. As I drive along the roads and see the simple villagers in their farms, I see what a lot there is to be done to raise the standard of these good people to what it should be. I see the men working in their farms with the same kind of hoe that their fathers and their grandfathers used before them. They are bent double over their work in the blazing sunshine and their wives and children come and help them. What can we do to make things easier?

There are cheap Chinese tractors that could be imported. The governments at state and local levels have sufficient funds for that purpose as long as there is proper co-ordination and vigilance by the civil society to avoid over-invoicing. This was very rampant during the military era when some tractors were purchased for some urban local governments at the cost of _7million for refuse disposal. And even now some local governments are involved in over invoicing. A conventional tractor is less than $15000 up to Lagos port but it is sold to some state and local governments at about and over _4million. A Chinese one-piston tractor is about $1000 up to Lagos port. It is a convenient machine for Nigeria because at least it is more powerful than the Ox drawn plough. The importation of Chinese tractors should be properly backed with training of maintenance technicians. Training their members and providing them with credit facilities through the poverty alleviation programme and other schemes will encourage co-operative societies. Co-operative farming "is an application of ideal brotherhood" and if properly coordinated it could be "an efficient arrangement for agricultural production".

There is much the state could learn from successful credit schemes of Bangladesh and Sudan. In Bangladesh the poorest people were targeted in one of such schemes. It is the responsibility of the government to study this scheme with the view of learning from its successes and failures. Also in the Sudan one of the Islamic financial institutions was very successful in its credit scheme, thus there is the need to study that programme so that the best strategies could be adopted. Even here in Kano one of the organizations from the Gulf granted loans to farmers. Both parties implemented the agreements reached before the loans were given. The debtors paid back the loan and the creditors gave other farmers in other words it was successfully revolved in the area. Therefore the government and interested segments of the civil society should study these projects and improve upon them for the long-term interest of the people. The government could also improve the animal husbandry techniques in the rural areas because most of the people keep livestock. It has been demonstrated in some African countries that the income of poor rural women was increased by teaching them basic techniques along with the provision of hybrid livestock at subsidized rate. An example is the operation cockerel in Senegal. Even in Greece, which is a developed country, the government has initiated a national goat policy, to improve their stock and provide sufficient cheese. In Nigeria NAPRI (National Animal Production Research Institute) and other institutions have conducted studies on livestock. It is the responsibility of the government to link these studies with the society for the sake of poverty alleviation. This could be achieved by paying more to attention to agricultural extension.

There is great potential for plantation agriculture in Nigeria. Apart from the large number of trees of commercial value that exist in the wild without being exploited the government could also encourage the planting economically viable trees under the tree planting campaign. When Nigeria entered the world shea nut business the market for the commodity crashed because of abundant supply from this blessed country. There is no commercial shea nut plantation in Nigeria as in other countries. Most of it was collected from uncultivated areas and from a few farms that have few trees.

There are many trees and shrubs of economic value, which are wasting away in the wild. A good example is Ricinus communis Castor Bean (Hausa: Zurman). This shrub is native to tropical Africa where it grows to 120m (40ft) or more. It is widely planted in temperate areas as annual ornamental shrub for its large lobed fan like leaves. In Nigeria it grows in the wild or in farmlands but as a weed and not as a crop, most of the rural farmers are unaware of its commercial potential. Brazil, India and Thailand are the major producers of castor beans. The global trade in this product is about $5 billion. The United States alone imports over $500 million worth of castor beans. This fruit contains 45-55% castor oil, which is indispensable in tanning of skins, production of cosmetics, pharmaceutics and insecticides. In Nigeria no commercial castor oil is produced and the industries that need it relay on imported oil, which is very expensive. The need to promote the production of castor beans is beyond any emphasis. Jatropa curcas (physic nut tree) known as Babulu in Hausa is a potential source of income for rural people if its production is encouraged. This tree is very viable in afforestation because it grows on poor soils. It could also be used in fencing to prevent encroachment of animals because of its repellent effect. However, its most important use is that its nuts contain fuel oil. The energy value of the fuel is only 3% less than diesel and it was used in Europe during World War II but it was abandoned during the subsequent euphoria of cheap oil. The cost of its fuel used in motor vehicles was 163.4 FCFA (_7) per liter as at 1993 compared to 300 FCFA (_13) per liter of petroleum diesel in Mali, where they encourage its production.

It may be wise to promote the extraction of diesel from the physic nut because of the ecology of Kano and the fact that for the last ten years the supply of petroleum products has never been stable. In the rural areas and poor sections of the urban areas most people use firewood since kerosene has remained scarce and risky because of adulteration. Felling of trees for firewood is a major cause of desertification in arid zones. Kano is very vulnerable to this environmental hazard. The earlier the authorities realize this the better.

The government could encourage export of these commodities by training the entrepreneurs involved in the business and also by establishing joint ventures with them through the state investment company so that they could have enough leverage to export. This is necessary since most of them lack capital to export thousands of tons of the commodities without which no company outside Nigeria could open letter of credit. Many of the traders involved in the business have collapsed because they had to sell to middlemen in Lagos who made more profit because of their capital base.

Poor price for produce is one of the major problems of farmers in many societies hence in most of those countries agriculture is subsidized. But according to critics of this policy the subsidies never reach those who deserve them. Therefore it is the task of the government to ensure that subsidies go directly to the farmers this could only be guaranteed through a radical institutional reform such as the ward committees (or boards) suggested below.

The government through its investment company could engage in joint ventures with agricultural co-operatives, local governments and ward development committees (or boards) for the establishment of key agro-based industries. For several years Kano has not fulfilled the dream of establishing a tomato factory. Something should be done as matter of urgency. Canned tomato is imported all the way from Italy and Israel and it is one of the most profitable imported items. It is the task of the government agencies responsible to find out and make useful suggestions. There is also the need to establish a pharmaceutical starch industry through joint venture with any foreign company. This is important for domestic consumption and security. It will also utilize the abundant starch produced by the peasant farmers in the state.

Social Mobilization
MAMSER failed because it was not rooted in the cultural heritage of the people. It was a state organ designed to perpetuate the domination of people by the ruling class. Islam is the only ideology that could mobilize Muslims hence the failure of other ideologies in Muslim societies. Muslims in Nigeria will not forgo Islam for any other ideology. Therefore the elites most utilize Islamic values and institutions for the benefit of the Muslims in this world and ultimately in the hereafter.

It has been empirically proven that even in the US, physical factors contribute just over half of all output growth and one scholar "calls the unexplained part the measure of our ignorance". The unexplained part is the moral factor. It has been shown that Muslims could "accelerate the role of economic growth by greater use of moral factors". Economic development could be reduced to "engendering internal change". This is because the desire to grow is deeply rooted in the human spirit hence Islam emphasizes spiritual training, which "should be the highest goal of every Muslim individual and society". The Muslim intellectual Malik Bennabi stressed this when he observed that the important economic issue in the Muslim world "is that of harnessing the social force- humanity, land, and time-in a project propelled by a cultural will undeterred by any difficulties". Tahawi has also shown that "invoking Islamic injunctions in the context of development efforts will release powerful forces from the masses". While Chapra believes "that Islam envisages an economic system that promotes human well-being and a good life (hayah tayyibah) by giving the utmost importance to brotherhood and socio-economic justice, and requiring a balanced satisfaction as regards humanity's material and spiritual needs". It has also been observed, "that within an Islamic framework of work ethics, economic accomplishment turns into spiritual achievement, for the bounty of God is earned by seeking His acceptance". From the forgoing there is enough evidence to show that Islam "provides a strong motivation of economic growth". It is therefore the responsibility of the Muslim elites "to encourage Muslims to regain their past glory, for when they become aware of this, they will make concerted efforts to achieve rapid economic growth".

The motivating factors for economic growth in a Muslim society are established by Divine injunctions in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islam as the final message that balances between the spiritual and profane "induces growth promoting tendencies by encouraging the human instincts of acquisition, provision, and enterprising behavior". Islam "discourages such growth-inhibiting tendencies as begging, sloth, the waste of time and resources, and extravagance by invoking tendencies favorable to economic growth". The injunction against begging is contained in this Hadith transmitted in Musnad of Imam Ahmad, which enjoined the believers thus: "Beg not anything from people". The injunction against extravagance is contained in the Qur'an (17: 26): "But squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift" and in this Hadith transmitted by Bukhari: “Verily Allah likes three things for you and dislikes three things for you. He is pleased with you that you worship Him and associate not anything with Him, that you hold fast to the rope of Allah and be not scattered; and [He disapproves for you irrelevant talk, persistent questioning and wasting of wealth]”.

Islam favors and encourages “growth-promoting tendencies” with injunctions in the Qur’an and Sunnah. For example in the Qur’an Allah enjoins the faithful: “And when the prayer is finished, then disperse in the land and seek Allah’s bounty”. And in the Sunnah it is reported that: “Allah desires that whenever anyone of you performs a job, he/she does it perfectly”; “To earn an honest livelihood is a duty (ranking) next to the chief duty (of offering prayers)”.
Muslims are encouraged to utilize natural resources for the benefit of their societies in ways “that are economically efficient and ecologically sound”. These resources are available for the faithful and others as contained in this verse: “And He made in it (the earth) mountains above its surface, blessed it, and placed therein provisions in due proportion, in four days, alike for all seekers”. (34: 9). Muslims are especially enjoined to utilize these resources for improving their life as contained in Qur’an 7: 32. Economic growth is essential for acquiring “the material strength for the defense of Islam” as implied in this verse: “Make ready for them what thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered that thereby ye dismay the enemy of Allah” (8: 60).

Islam encourages Muslims to trust each other and above all to have good opinion of their Creator. This is in the mutual interest of all Muslims, which is an important means of achieving social justice. Therefore “as a general rule, a transaction is forbidden if it means gain for one individual but loss for another”. Some non-Muslims scholars have even asserted that the future belongs to those societies in which the people trust each other and their institutions. Business flourishes when partners trust each other. The Northern Nigerian Muslim was trusted in all parts of Nigeria because of his honesty. This was our greatest asset in our relationship other peoples. It must be revived if we are our to regain our lost glory. The most important institution available to Muslims for social mobilization is the mosque. This is because among its many attributes the mosque commands a position of high respect and love, for it signifies the house of God on earth. “All able bodied Muslims are expected to say their five daily prayers in the mosque” within which “a divine atmosphere prevails” because “people are worshiping, reciting the Qur’an, remembering God, as well as learning, teaching and propagating Islam”. These breed the impetus for “change in the outlook, taste, and aspirations of Muslims and make them more God-conscious” which is the source of strength. If the Muslims are lucky to gain Taqwa or God-consciousness then they have succeeded because “it embodies the effects of many values, among them trust (tawakkul), patience (sabr) and thankfulness (shukr), all of which are important” for moral regeneration. It was trust and patience that ensured the success of all previous Muslim generations of the Prophet (SAW), his rightly guided Caliphs and even our predecessors who established Sokoto Caliphate, the largest, most complexly organized and most prosperous state in pre-colonial tropical Africa.

The mosque as an institution also provides an excellent framework for achieving Islamic social cohesion in terms of brotherhood and cooperation. This is because in the mosque every Muslim “is a humble servant of God and tries to respect all others”. In the mosque the faithful “mix freely and enquire about each other’s welfare”. This “produces a feeling of love and cooperation, for the assembly is like a single family: “And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another” (71: 9). The faithful will ripe the fruit of this moral investment and there will be social harmony and genuine affection for each other as in the time of the Prophet (SAW) the Qur’an has documented that: “And (moreover) He hath put affection between their hearts: not if thou hadst spent all that is on the earth, couldst thou have produced that affection, but Allah hath done it: For He is exalted in Might, Wise (8: 63)”. From the foregoing it is clear that there are sufficient provisions for mobilizing Muslims to ensure socio-economic justice if only the leaders will properly use the mosque by showing good example as the past successful Muslim leaders did. This goes beyond material decorations, what is required is attendance and interaction.

Economic Development and Security at the Ward Level The ward is the basic political unity in the state and it is the closest to the people. For the society to be successful it must utilize all the available human resources at its disposal. By ensuring economic development at the ward level with broader participation government will be brought nearer to the people. This is necessary for social harmony because of the level of poverty in the society. Security could also be guaranteed if the institutions at the grass root are empowered especially with the participation of most of the sections of the dominant elites in community development projects.

Framework for Economic Development
One of the ways of ensuring a harmonious and egalitarian society is by stimulating economic growth at the grass-root level with active participation of most of the representatives of the dominant elite groups. Politically this will be in the interest of the present administration if it acts intelligently, because it will serve as an opportunity to reach more people than it could ever anticipate.

The structure for running this programme will be based at the state, local government area and ward levels. The state and local governments should fund the programme. A modest _4million should be provided for each ward with 50-50 contributions by the two tiers. The state government should immediately institute a committee or panel that will identify viable ventures for each ward of the state. After the completion of this study the funds should be made available. It could be assumed that agriculture and plantation forestry will be more viable in most of the rural wards while commerce and industry may be more viable in the urban wards. Therefore the state government should explore the possibility of establishing with some experts a tractor assembly plant using Chinese technology with proper management, technical and maintenance agreements.

Structure and Functions of Development Boards As stated earlier the development boards should be at three levels as follows:

The board/committee at the ward level should be made up of the following people who are representative of broad spectrum of the dominant elite groups:

1. Chairman appointed by the local government chairman.
2. Elected councilor of the ward.
3. Mai-Unguwa or ward head and if they are more than one they should rotate after every two years.
4. Imam of the ward and if they are more than one they should rotate after every two years.
5. Two Representatives of community based organizations (CBOs) to be nominated by them.
6. Representative of the business community to be appointed by the chairman after due consultation with the business class.
7. Administrative secretary to be deployed by the local government service commission.

The functions of the board/committee should among others include:

1. Establishing business ventures that will employ as many people as possible in the ward based on professional advice from the report of the committee established for that purpose by the state government. It could also hire/lease equipments such as tractors to farmers.
2. Appointing and firing the managers and staff of its business ventures based on merit after due consultation with the local government board.
3. Appointing auditors for its business establishments and ensuring that there is transparency in all business transactions.
4. Distributing of all subsidies equitably in the ward without fear or favor. These include scholarships and agricultural subsidies as well as relief materials.
5. Mobilizing the people to ensure enrollment in schools and active participation in economic activities. This could be achieved by encouraging congregational prayers in mosques at the ward level with special wa’az (admonishing) sessions every Thursday as reported in the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW).
6. Running Qur’anic schools by allocating resources from the profits of its businesses based on professional advice.
7. Managing waste in their wards by ensuring cleaning ness and proper disposal techniques using basic technology. In Egypt in the 1980’s the people use donkeys and mules to collect refuse from house to house and dispose of it at the appropriate sites outside the city. A similar framework could be established with the help of the ward committee instead of disposing refuse on the roads to be collected by heavy equipment, which have never been efficient especially during recessions.
8. Encouraging the establishment of co-operative societies at the ward level.
9. The board/committee should meet regularly to review the security situation and advice the appropriate authorities.
10. Any other function that may be assigned to it by a local government bye law or law of the state house of assembly.

Local Government Level
The committee or board at the local government level should be made up of the following people representing most of the dominant elite groups:

1. Chairman appointed by the state governor.
2. Representative of the local government chairman.
3. The Hakimi (District Head).
4. The Imam of the Local Government and if there is more than one they should alternate after every two years.
5. Two representatives of NULGE and NUT nominated by them.
6. Two representatives of CBOs nominated by them.
7. Representative of the business community appointed by the chairman after due consultation with business class.
8. Administrative secretary to be deployed by the state local government service commission.

The functions of the board/committee should among others include:

1. Establishing joint commercial and industrial ventures for the benefit of the local government especially produce marketing companies to ensure better bargain for local producers.
2. Appointing and firing the managers and staff of its business ventures based on merit after due consultation with the state board.
3. Appointing auditors for its business establishments and ensuring that there is transparency in all business transactions.
4. Supervising and coordinating the activities of the ward boards/committees.
5. Any other functions that may be assigned to it by a local government bye law or law of the state house of assembly.

State Level
The board at the state level should be made up of the following people representing most of the dominant elite groups:

1. Chairman appointed by the state governor.
2. Representative of the Emir of Kano.
3. Chief Imam of the state.
4. Three representatives of the Ulama who will represent the major sects in the state.
5. Two representatives of NLC.
6. Representative of Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Agriculture
7. Representative of MAN.
8. Two representatives of NGOs.
9. Two members appointed by the governor based on merit.
10. Secretary deployed from the state civil service.

The functions of the board should among others include:

1. Supervising and coordinating the ventures established under this framework with the view of ensuring harmony and accountability.
2. Exploring the possibility of establishing a produce marketing company and agro-allied factories in the state in collaboration with state investment company and other government agencies.
3. Appointing and firing the management and staff of its joint ventures or affiliates.
4. Actively involving the governor in mobilizing the people in the state. By visiting all the wards and meeting the people where they should be implored to wake up. The first colonial resident Cargill visited 1100 villages and hamlets in less than one year to prepare tax assessment report. Therefore there is no reason why all the wards cannot be visited for the benefit of the society considering the network of communication in this period compared to the time of Cargill. The visits should only involve the governor at his convenience other government functionaries should remain in their stations and perform their duties.
5. Any other functions that may be assigned to it by the law of the state.

Guaranteeing Security Through Community Vigilance As noted earlier the colonial rulers understood their weakness at the onset of their rule thus they co-opted the native ruling class under the indirect rule system. The contemporary structure of the society made the traditional rulers and the Ulama to remain closer to the people because they are community based. The Ulama are respected because of their pious status. They officiate marriages and funerals at the grass-root level. They also reconcile disputing parties because of their status. This social capital should be utilized by the society for the sake ensuring peaceful co-existence. The masu unguwani (traditional ward heads) are aware of the good and the bad eggs within their domains. They are also aware of any new arrivals that could foment trouble. They are able to gather information everyday, which they pass on to their superiors.

If the idea of the ward committee is acceptable it could ensure a framework for harmonious security network. This is because most of the dominant sections of the elites are involved in the committee. There will be no fear of oppression since the Ulama, politicians and the voluntary associations are active participants in the committee. It will also be possible to check the menace of 'yan banga because the politicians could be pressurized by other sections of the elites who are members of the committee. This could only be achieved if the top echelon of the political class summons the will to check the menace of 'yan banga because every faction has its own group. The hisba should be empowered to ensure security at the ward levels.

At the highest level the government should empower and implore the police to seize illegal weapons especially guns from those who possess them this is because during the last riots and many others some people used guns. This is very dangerous militarization and unless it is checked, defenseless people will forced to employ other means of defending themselves.

The Role of Inuwar Kano
This could be divided into two: advocacy and sensitization and direct participation. The organization has experience in both strategies and it should also learn from others.

Advocacy and Sensitization
Advocacy in this respect means visits and interaction with target groups and individuals. The target groups should be leaders and the other members of the dominant elite groups. Inuwar Kano could:

1. Hand over specific suggestions to His Excellency the Governor of Kano State on practical ways of ensuring economic growth so that more jobs could be created. If the suggestion on ward committees/boards is acceptable to the organization it can present it to His Excellency, which is also an opportunity for him to get more support at the grass-root level. The organization could also advice His Excellency to implement the recommendations of the Committee on Resuscitation of Industries in Kano, which were accepted by the state government.

2. Submit to the State House of Assembly, specific suggestions on method of achieving socio-economic justice through legislations, which are relevant to the society. There has been very little or no encouragement on this arm of the government to be alive to its responsibility of ensuring the flourishing of democracy through egalitarian policies.

3. Host an interactive seminar with the Ulama with the view of understanding their position on the solutions to societal problems.

4. Visiting His Highness the Emir of Kano and seeking his fatherly advice on how best the masu ungwani, dagatai and hakimai could be incorporated in the vanguard for moral regeneration of the society.

Sensitization in this respect means reaching out to the larger segment of the society so that attitudinal change could be achieved. The following are some of the ways of achieving this goal:

1. Radio and television programmes by commissioned experts especially the Ulama, retired public servants and artists. The possibility of using the home video industry should be critically explored because of its seeming wide appeal amongst the youth and married ladies.

2. Hosting of youth camps during long vacation for leadership and citizenship training for students with special emphasis on Islamic moral regeneration. The Scout jamborees, Man’O War Bay camps and the MSS institutions vacation programmes (IVC) achieved a lot in the 1970’s which in turn helped in raising the standard of education and morality in the case of MSS during that period.

3. Sponsoring of public lectures in the mosques all over the state because as stated earlier this institution has the greatest potential of mobilizing Muslims. The organization should seek the assistance of His Highness the Emir in this regard because he has the grass-root connection to the network of the mosques.

4. Sponsoring of the publication of pamphlets that have relevance to the society with hope of mobilizing the elites and the masses.

Direct Participation
This could be achieved by harmonizing research and development as in many other societies.

Inuwar Kano has been involved in educational projects this is commendable. And there is also the need to extend its activities to other areas even within the educational sector especially research. No society can ever progress without research. The organization may not have enough resources to conduct high tech research but it should endeavor to explore the possibility of collaborating with universities in that area. But it has resources to conduct research on the society. This is very crucial because it seems outsiders know more about us than we know ourselves. For example foreigners conducted the most authoritative research works on Kano even though some of them are biased. Most of them have been published as books or papers in journals or chapters in books.
The following are some of the most influential books written on Kano by outsiders:

Christelow, A. (ed) 1994. Thus Ruled Emir Abbas: Selected Cases from the Records of the Emir of Kano's Judicial Council. African Historical Sources, no.5 East Lansing.

Hill, P. 1977 Population Prosperity and Poverty. Rural Kano 1900-1970 London.

Lubeck, P. 1986. Islam and Urban Labour in Northern Nigeria. Cambridge. Loimeier, R. 1997. Islamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria. Evanston.

Paden, J. N., 1973. Religion and Political Culture in Kano, Berkeley, Los Angeles.

Smith, M. G. 1997. Government in Kano 1350-1950. Boulder.

There are happenings within the society, which we fail to acknowledge by refusing to study them critically for example the Hausa home video and the so-called Kano Market Literature. Already there is a course unit in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on Kano Market Literature but there is no similar effort in Nigeria. There is an urgent need to study these new trends because it is in our own interest or else others may study them and use the findings against us and since we do not have knowledge of them we may not be able to respond correctly. Already some outsiders are utilizing this medium to spread fasad (corruption). For example none of the Hausa video film producers ever produced a film with “Allah”’s voice but one of the outsiders has recently produced such a blasphemous film and it may go into circulation.

There is also the need to understand how culture promotes technology more especially because of the global trends in this field. We are lagging behind in this respect but concerned individuals could play a significant role.

This could be categorized into Education, Agriculture and Commerce and industry.

It seems Inuwar Kano is more specialized in this area. But it is a fact that it met a major set back with the creation of CRC (Community Re-Orientation Committee) at the local government area levels. This is because the CRCs are more concerned with spending allocation from the government while Inuwar Kano was more involved in mobilizing the community to assume a positive role in education as in other parts of Nigeria. The people became less interested in the Inuwar Kano programme because of the politicized CRC projects.

Inuwar Kano should continue with its programmes for mobilizing the communities but at the same it should be more innovative by initiating other projects that have not received adequate government attention. I have enumerated some of possible areas for consideration by the Inuwar Kano in an article I wrote in The Triumph, which were not considered by the organization. But it seems NNDC is executing similar programmes.

Some international voluntary organizations have made contributions to the development of agriculture in Kano, which is the occupation of the vast majority of the people in the state. Sasakawa-Global 2000 and Jam’at Khairiyyat Islamiyya are good examples of such organizations. Inuwar Kano can study the possibility of making contributions to agricultural research and extension for the benefit of rural people or even making the results of research conducted by others known to the public. The contribution of _250000 credit facility made by Jam’at Khariyyat Islamiyya is not much in terms of quantity but its impact in the village was remarkable. This could be appreciated if we reflect that many villagers in Kano State cannot afford a donkey of _6000.

Commerce and Industry:
There are members of Inuwar Kano who are experienced and successful businessmen especially in areas where our people are not well-represented for example spare parts and printing materials. The organization should also study the possibility of participating or encouraging the establishment of some of the factories mentioned above. This participation does not mean investing all the resources of the organization in such ventures. The experienced technocrats in Inuwar Kano know this better than I do. As a test case Inuwar Kano can establish joint ventures with some of its business minded members who are experienced in spare-parts and printing materials business. Inuwar Kano should have the courage to trust its members or others who are trustworthy.

Brought to you by Kano Online 2001