The Cobra Effect is a term in Economics. It refers to a situation when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse.
The decision to ban Achaba by Bauchi state government in an attempt to improve the security of lives and properties was well-intentioned. As Governor Bala fears, the proliferation of Yan-Achaba who are banned from other states into Bauchi State is a very big threat to our security, hence, the need for governments’ decisive action. No sane government will allow an open security threat to emanate and escalate without taking necessary measures. However, certain unintended consequences that may lead to making the problem worst must be considered before rushing into action to avoid falling into the ditch of Cobra-Effect.
The term Cobra-Effect was coined based on an incident in old colonial India. By some reasons, there were too many venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. People were dying due to snake-bites and it became scary for almost everyone to step out of their houses. The government of the day had to get into action to stop this menace and it offered a silver coin for every dead cobra. The results were great, a large number of snakes were killed for the reward.
Eventually, however, it led to some serious unwanted consequences. After a short-term decrease in cobra population, it started going up again. This was because few people began to breed cobras for the income. When the news reached the government, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the cobra population further increased. The solution for the problem made the situation even worse.
This is exactly what would happen to Bauchi State if the government sticks to its decision on Achaba ban. The Achaba will eventually disappear, but the security situation would be worse in the near future, because most of the Yan-Achaba are youths with no other means to make ends meet than Achaba. They have no certificates for white-collar-job, no capital for investment and no skill for craftsmanship. Taking Achaba away from them makes them completely hopeless and idle. What do they say about idle mine? Many of them will see no option than to join criminal rackets such as stealing, burglary, banditry, kidnapping, fraud, terrorism, kidnapping, and thuggery, etc.
Many businesses such as vulcanizers, mechanics, engine oil vendors, motorcycle and spare-parts suppliers tend to suffer huge loss. When Yan-Achaba lose their jobs, the already skyrocketed unemployment in the state would increase geometrically. The ugly labor market would get fatter and uglier, and the dependency ratio on the inconsistent salary would also multiply, hence, shooting the state’s poverty rate up. This depicts the potential insecurity the state is heading into.
There are also serious unwanted consequences of Achaba ban to the governor politically. The ban is tantamount to hatching thousands of enemies amongst citizens comprising Yan-Achaba and their sympathizers. Especially with the way police officers are maltreating and extorting Yan-achaba financially under his watch. It is a sophisticated political weapon for the oppositions to use against the governor and his political party. Pundits in the state view the decision as an anti-masses and widely unpopular policy. Many are saying government should not block peoples’ source of income without providing alternative.
Talking about alternative, Bauchi state governor promised to provide 500 Keke Napep (tricycles) for Yan-Achaba as substitute to their motorcycles, meanwhile only three-fifty keke Napep are provided, whereas there are more than five thousand Yan-Achaba in the state. This shows that Bauchi state has no resources or the governor has no political-will to provide substitute for even the registered Yan-Achaba talk less of those without register.
I recommend the reversal of this unpopular decision of total ban on Achaba across Bauchi state, because the Cobra-Effect would be devastating. His Excellency should put emphasis on compulsory registration and consistent tax payment by Yan-Achaba. This would secure the state from unwanted proliferation and would create additional income for the state and at the same time keep thousands of youths occupied.
The ban should be successive, starting from the state capital with the provision of enough substitute tricycles at an affordable soft loan. After successful abolishing of the practice in the capital, the ban could then be extended to the remaining parts of the state using similar substitution procedures to avoid unwanted consequences.
This may save Bauchi state from the mysterious Cobra-Effect of Achaba ban.
By Adamu Bello Mai-bödi
Wrote from Gidado Bombiyo residence
Worsening Security Situation in Katsina State and the Need for Urgent Attention
Katsina State in the past is one of the most peaceful states in the Northwest geopolitical zone and the entire country. The peaceful atmosphere in the state puts it among the most prospective States in terms of socioeconomic, political, and educational developments with the lowest poverty and literacy ahead of many other states.
However, the worsening security situations in the state becomes a source of concern and worry to all right-thinking persons. Katsina State is one of the States with large scales foods productions through small, medium, and large scales farming.
The Southern parts of the State (Funtua Zone/Karadua) are popular and well known for large-scale farming due to the favorable climate and fertile land that makes agriculture a profitable business far ahead of Katsina Central and Katsina North Senatorial Zones.
The people of Funtua Zone made agriculture and business their sources of living which makes white-collar jobs unattractive among its people.
The worsening security around Funtua and other neighboring Local Government Areas which started from cattle rustling escalated to full pledge banditry and kidnapping. These security challenges in our areas and other parts of the State continue to make life difficult, hard, and potentially dangerous to the people of the affected areas.
Initially, the problems of banditry and kidnapping were limited to remote villages in the State, but in the recent past, it is quickly becoming an urban phenomenon whereby the bandits are conducting house-to-house operations as it happens in Funtua and other places.
I am using this medium to commiserate with the victims of banditry in Funtua and the entire State which resulted in the loss of lives, properties, displacement of people, rapes, and other forms of assaults. The occurrences of banditry and kidnapping daily have since become part of our everyday life making us live in perpetual fear wherever we are at our homes, on a journey, in markets, in mosques, and on our farms. The problems of insecurity caused by banditry and kidnapping make farming, difficult or impossible for fear of being attacked by bandits as many people pay ultimate prices.
I condemned in the strongest terms the worsening security situation we found ourselves in as a result of poor methods and strategies to find a lasting solution to our problems, even though we have a State House of Assembly who is supposedly watching things deteriorating with less or nothing to show on our collective security as the people’s representatives.
Lately the State House of Assembly on Monday 8th August 2022 resolves the floor of the House and summoned the Governor of Katsina State Rt. Hon Aminu Bello Masari to appear before it to give them detailed explanations on the worsening security situation in the State. The Member representing Katsina Constituency in the State sponsored this motion where he called on the government to overhaul the security apparatus, architecture, and structure in the State. The member representing Funtua Constituency also called on the government to suspend restrictions imposed on motorcyclists and tricycle operators from 10:00 pm-6:00 am which mainly affects ordinary men and women by making things more difficult for them.
What we should ask at this juncture as observed in a video clip trending on social media from the State House of Assembly by an Honorable Member where he said let me make my contribution on the worsening security and what is going on is an indication that, if what is happening in our areas do not deserve the attention of the House unless things that affect them or their godfathers so they are not representing people but themselves.
What becomes a source of concern is how a person representing people that were in difficult conditions but cannot talk unless someone talks then he follows due to a lack of concern, competency, and experience. When it comes to the plot allocations he is in the frontline not what is good for his people, particularly security challenges.
It is now that the State House of Assembly knows that there are security challenges in the State.
How many times does the Katsina State House of Assembly invite the stakeholders in the security sector to explain the security challenges facing the State?
Had the Katsina State House of Assembly ever come out and informed the general public on the development and progress in the fight against banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling or otherwise and the efforts of government on it?
Where are the security votes given to the State and how the government has spent it in detail?
Where the Hon. Member representing Funtua Constituency alleged “the security advisers of the State are not telling the government the reality on ground what has he done to inform the Governor?
The Hon. Member representing Funtua Constituency alleged that, they are not part of security committee and do not know when the committee and the stakeholders sit and deliberate on security challenges devastating parts of the State.
Do you want to tell the whole world that, the worsening security situations is a sign that you do not have a mutual understanding and relationship with the people you are representing?
It’s now that, you are aware of the failures of the government to take all the necessary measures to protect our towns and villages?
How many times did you ever investigate the budgetary allocations to the security and follows the government on how it is spending the security budgets?
How many times does the government meet with the people affected by devastation of security situations in order to find out lasting solutions or deal with the problem squarely?
Is there any law enacted by the Katsina State House of Assembly or resolution that will enhance mutual understanding between the state government and the security agencies?
Indeed without further explanations this government fails woefully in it’s constitutional duties and roles to protect the lives and properties of its citizens.
I do not subscribe to the ideas of camping the Honorable Members of our House of Assembly to remain in the State’s capital perpetually, the government should open offices for them in their constituencies so that a day will be earmarked for them to listen to the complaints of the people they representing.
The security issues in Katsina State do not required movements restrictions of motorcycles and tricycles operators alone, what we need at this critical time is to force the government to wakeup from its slumbers to do what is right within the remaining limited time.
However, you should know that those people who elected you into the office they have the rights over you ensure the security and safety of their lives and properties. Remember, the day of judgment is ahead of you and Allah the Most High will ask you how you handled the affairs of those that elected you. 2023 general elections is ahead and people are there waiting for you and they will pass their judgment from top to bottom.
I am calling on the leadership of the State House of Assembly and the entire Honorable Members to know that people are now more enlightened than before they know where to put their votes. We voiced out the grievances of the people that elected you, you left them down at the critical time they need you to call on the executive and other stakeholders to look at their predicament.
Finally, may Almighty Allah in His infinite power brings his quick intervention to deal with everyone who is behind our worsening security situations. Bissalam
Written by Mohammed Sabiru Danlami, Candidate for State House of Assembly
Funtua, Katsina state.
Buhari: A General That Takes His Nation to Waterloo! By Comrade Bello Ishaq
In 2006, while perusing the writings of some classical Greek philosophers, I came across a quote by Plato which says, ‘one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. This quote motivated me to not only broaden my research on politics but pick a deliberate interest in it. Prior to that time, particularly when Buhari began contesting in 2003, I had nothing to do with politics due to callowness in age and political apathy I suppose.
So, I had been an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari from 2007 to 2015. During elections, I and other devotees risked our lives to keep vigil at INEC office just to protect the votes cast in favour of Buhari in compliance with his usual directive of ‘A kasa, a tsare (which could be connotatively be translated to English as ‘cast your vote and stay to protect it’). Anytime Buhari was to visit Bauchi, I trekked numerous kilometers to welcome and accompany him to all the major places he was visiting such as Emir’s Palace, among others, even though I was a nonentity but the vehement belief in what he politically preached was the only thing that had been intoxicating me to do such a voluntary herculean task. I kept following him through ANPP, CPC and APC. In my mind’s eye, I was regarding him as the Nigerian Mao Zedong and a living version of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In 2015, I authored and published two books about Buhari and translated one of them to Hausa – all in my quest to promote messiah Buhari that we were hero worshipping. I can’t recall the number of essays I drafted in support of Buhari.
A year after his ascension to the presidential throne, I realized that the General could not take us to the promised land as he had been vowing. I came to that conclusion after observing many of his actions and inactions because I was expecting him to start taking boldly developmental steps the way his counterpart in Tanzania – late John Pombe Magafuli was doing. Buhari and Magafuli came to power almost the same time as both were elected in 2015.
In 2016, my instinct revealed to me that Buhari might take us to where life will be horribly ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, using Thomas Hobbes’ phraseology. For that, my conscience pricked me to make a decision. Consequent upon that, I totally withdrew my support for him and resigned my membership of the APC despite having a cordial relationship with some of the party leaders at some levels. I independently started pointing out the felonies and misdemeanors of the administration using the social media tools and occasionally making use of the mainstream media channels whenever the opportunities sprang up as they did from time to time.
Casting criticism on Buhari’s administration had attracted numerous antagonists to me, within and outside. Receiving insults from close ones and strangers was normal and became like a daily dose. Some ethno-religious zealots started labelling me as an enemy of the North or Islam just because I was pointing out the direction Buhari was taking us to. Some people that venerably called me ‘teacher’, as they used to come and take lessons from me, started openly challenging me and distrusting the veracity of my knowledge to the extent that some of them stopped consulting me just because I was pointing out maladies in saint Buhari’s administration. Many Buhari’s diehards doubted my sanity and they deployed unprintably insultive and pejorative terms against me. Those that were extremely kind and generous doubted my IQ and the schools I attended. At times, the insults came from people that I couldn’t reply to because I held them in high esteem. Numerous ad hominem propositions were developed against me including the one which proclaimed that I was being sponsored by the West or the enemies of Nigeria.
What kept me going then were three factors: my love for Nigeria is unquenchable and I regards it as necessary. Whenever I contemplated leaving the shores of Nigeria for safer and greener pastures, my mind would remind me that my parents, siblings and relatives are still in here. In addition, I have no any country that I could proudly call mine except this. Therefore, I could leave the country physically but I can’t leave it mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Thus, I considered it necessary to see things turn right. The second factor was that I am naturally averse to ‘herd mentality’. Just the fact that a multitude of persons do something or support something doesn’t move me to do the same as I always try my best to be moved by logic. The third factor was the letter I started reading since my secondary school days written by former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher. In the letter, Lincoln wrote, “Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon. Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.” The aforementioned factors had enabled me to sustain the tempo in the face of massive hostility, insults and threats.
Honestly, I am writing this piece to express regret for two things: first for the fact that Buhari has been proving my prognostication right even though I wanted him to prove it wrong for our collective safety and well-being. Secondly, with all the symptomatic harbingers of dangers that appeared in the Buhari’s first tenure, some Nigerians couldn’t foresee what was to come as they reelected him to carry the mediocrity-infested mess to the next level based on reasons best known to them. So sad that the region that shelters most of the voters of the next level is now the one bearing the worst brunt of the same Next Level (may God intervene).
Though Buhari has succeeded in lowering the bar and standard of leadership in Nigeria, I know I can hardly perform like him if I were to be in his shoes due to my personal shortcomings but Nigeria is adequately endowed with great men and women whom if given the opportunity can make a tremendous difference. For that, I most respectfully exhort my compatriots to always learn from the past to live in the present in order to forecast the future by not reprising the same terrible flub that we collectively did or some of us did on our behalf. We should stop recruiting leaders on the basis of primordial sentiments such as religion, region or tribe. Competence, capacity and integrity should be our yardstick.
While it remains few months for General Buhari to go and it is irrefutable that he had taken us to waterloo on all fronts, I pray another Buhari will not happen to Nigeria. May God help us elect leaders that will take us out of the woods and restore us to victory, prosperity, security, safety and peace.🙏
Propaganda is a weapon of itself by Aliyu Bashir Limanci
The situation in Ukraine has reminded me of how Bauchi Radio Corporation, in the early days of the Iraq War in 2002, flooded us with a smorgasbord of propaganda, telling us America was losing the war just because a handful of American soldiers were being killed. Our support for the Taliban, Osama Bn Laden skyrocketed, and Duniya Ina Labari became one of the most listened-to programs in Bauchi. We hated America so much we were always eager to listen to news that smoothened our emotions even if it was fake. America went on to not only install a pliant government but also continue to control the country even after its withdrawal.
But this time in Ukraine, the role of spreading disinformation and made-up analyses to mislead the gullible is being taken over by the likes of BBC, CNN, The Guardian, and the New York Times. The rationality is lost and emotion has taken over.
Don’t forget Russia is so powerful that America, the UK, France, Germany, and other NATO members are trying to avoid a conflict with it because the war cannot be won. Russia is ravaging Ukraine mercilessly, seizing large swaths of Ukrainian territories and placing major cities such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Kyiv, the nation’s capital under total siege. But they are telling us Russia has lost over 9000 soldiers but Ukraine has lost just 1300. They are telling us Russia will be defeated because the Ukrainians have vowed to resist the Russian invaders. They are telling you the Russian military advances are stalled because the Ukrainians have surprised Russia with their resolve. Let me tell you if you don’t know, Ukraine is bigger than Germany and France put together, and three times the size of Iraq. Ukraine has a population of 42 million people, and Iraq has 20 million. The Number of active Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine is around 190,000 according to the CIA’s intelligence, but America and its allies had deployed over 500,000 troops and it took them 6 weeks to take Baghdad. Russia is in its week three in Ukraine, and it is encircling Kyiv, the country that has twice the population of Iraq. But according to the West, Russia is facing losing the war. Despite vowing to resist, Zelensky is now willing to make concessions to the Kremlin and, as conditions for peace, agree to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. It is even highly likely that Zelensky would drop his NATO ambition.
Propaganda is a weapon of itself.