In Kano State, the situation is critically under alarm. It may completely go out of control any time from now. That is our genuine fear. It is not about sounding pessimistic or hysterical.
It is gloomy and doom-laden. The situation is rapidly becoming larger than Kano. The centre is crumbling fast, it can no longer hold. The government has lost its bearings. I unreservedly align with that fiery Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie. Yes, this COVID-19 has effortlessly exposed our leaders across board. Sad!
The pandemic is securely treading some dangerous paths. And Kano is one such path. What is trending in that state is quite frightening. The picture is frightful and horrible. Kano has caved in; a huge tragedy. It is, as usual, in a haste in this rat race.
It picks Lagos as its traditional and serial contender in unhealthy rivalry. Always in cut-throat competition with Lagos. All for wrong reasons. Kano easily forgets that it is not on the same page with the Centre of Excellence. The difference is clear.
Kano has always been deeply in love with figures; particularly those relating to elections and population. And it does not pretend flaunting and touting same.
The very reason the state is fighting COVID-19 like an election. It is seeing what others are not seeing. For Kano, COVID-19 is the forerunner to the 2023 elections. That is its eerie mood right now.
They erroneously believe the state with the highest (death) figure wins the war of COVID-19. They have an insatiable thirst for a repeat of their “outstanding” performance in 2019 elections.
The state is striving hard to realise one ambition: to be the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria. And its prayer is fast moving close to being answered.
COVID-19 is a pandemic anywhere but Nigeria. When it landed in this weird and wild clime, it transformed into a highly lucrative business. And see how the heartless in our midst are trading with it at different levels. It is the height of wickedness.
I had naively thought COVID-19 to be a mere feast for the “lucky” ones among us. That was before. Kano has turned it to a serious business.
When the pandemic sneaked into the land of the famed Muhammed Rumfa, it wore the toga of an election. And the results are following the very alarming pattern of the 2019 election results.
By the way, Rumfa was the undisputable Sultan of the old and pure Hausa Sultanate of Kano between 1463 and 1499. That was centuries before Uthman Dan Fodio came with his Fulani jihad in 1805.
Kano means stern business with COVID-19. And it is not taking anything for granted. The Nigerian index case entered through Lagos on February 27, 2020. Kano was amazed by the “financial rewards” (donations) that came to Lagos through that.
It promptly went to work with determination and zeal. It has upped the game. It moved past that with the speed of light, beating Lagos to it again, just as it claimed it did on population figures and election results.
Kano has become the major “exporter” of COVID-19 to other states. It violently overtook Lagos and Abuja in that awkward direction. How Kano achieved the feat?
Samplers: The Oyo State index case was generously donated by Kano. That was long before Kano recorded its first case on April 11. Courtesy: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The Oyo index case was a highly placed Customs officer. He was fully aware of his delicate and deadly COVID-19 status. Yet, he wickedly offered to travel all the way from Kano, by road, and landed in Ibadan.
He obviously observed the lockdown in complete disobedience. All because of his position and the khaki uniform. Of course, he lost his life. How many of the victims he came in contact with were tracked and quarantined? That remains official mystery.
Then it was the turn of neighbouring Kaduna State. Its COVID-19 survivor governor, Nasir el-Rufai, was forced to cry out last week. He was devastated at the situation at hand. And he expressed his utter disgust loud and clear. He was stunned he could receive such rough treatment from his Kano State counterpart, Governor Umar Ganduje. He did not find it funny it was certainly not a laughing matter. He said it in clear terms.
Out of the many almajiris Ganduje “deported” to Kaduna, 50 of them actively tested COVID-19 positive. El-Rufai was dumbfounded. He is yet to come to terms with Ganduje’s action.
El-Rufai actually asked for it. He was the first to toy with the idea of sending almarijis to their so-called states of origin. So? Ganduje gave him back in good, full measure.
Kano did not spare its “twin” brother neighbour, Jigawa State. It slammed it with 524 almajiris. But Governor Badaru Abubakar took it in good faith. He was in unusual high spirits. He sensibly ordered the deportee almajiris to undergo medical screening. Thereafter, they would be allowed to go back to their houses.
Kano did not stop at that. It supplied Plateau State its own index case. He entered the Tin City of Jos on April 17. On April 23, he tested positive. Kano equally sent its “envoys” to other states and Abuja.
How did Kano get itself messed up? Its index, an ex-ambassador, practically crept into Kano on March 25, 2020. That was barely two days before Ganduje shut his boundaries.
A group, Kungiyar Matasan Kano (KMK), made grave allegations against the 75-year-old index. That he had roamed the streets of Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos recklessly.
KMK insisted he “escaped” from Abuja to Kano. This was after his samples were taken for a COVID-19 test. In Kano, he again wandered carelessly. He was in two mosques for burial and wedding ceremonies. He also attended a dinner party.
From there, he visited two diagnostic centres. On April 10, Good Friday, he went to a hospital. NCDC trailed him to that hospital the following day. There and then, it exposed his true COVID-positive status.
The index case was immediately followed by the confirmation of two new cases on Easter Monday. On Wednesday, the NCDC announced 12 new cases. It also made known Kano’s first COVID-19 death.
Since then, there has been no stopping COVID-19 in Kano in deaths and new cases. Its COVID-19 inferno is spreading like harmattan fire unabated.
NCDC is not helping matters in this regard. It took the INEC option by announcing the results of its tests dead in the night.
In all of this mess, other moonlight tales were flying around. Many of them had the back-up of video clips. And they were viral, all over, everywhere.
We saw multitudes openly at weddings. To them, the lockdown was as good as knocked out, dead. Hundreds of thousands of them trooped to burials, including that of an emir.
They are closing in on social distancing, jettisoning the much-taunted stay safe order. They are in a world of their own.
That is why they could do business with COVID-19. They could showcase ridiculous figures in favour of the pandemic. They are at ease with the disease.
These weird beings are deeply in love with COVID-19. Perhaps, the very reason they pray its preys keep increasing. At least in their Kano enclave.
So, it seems.