At a time when Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states are reducing the restrictions placed on women; at a time when the entire world is embracing the reality of putting the interest of women at the forefront of national discourse to attract the needed speedy development; at a time when the issue of equality between men and women is being placed in a relative balance, the Kano State government has taken up another infamous stride of retrogression when there are more important developmental and people-oriented policies to be put in place
The new state law banning men and women from boarding the same tricycle in the state is not only laughable and unfortunate, but also portrays how petty a state government can go in instituting extant laws in the state when there are other very pressing urgent issues that need to be addressed.
I had expected the state government to be more concerned of the low level of school enrolment of the girl-child in the state; they should have been agitated by the high level of youths and women lacking in formal education and employment in the supposed most populated state in Africa; they should have been more aggrieved of the high level of poverty and lack of basic and affordable medical facilities in the state amongst sundry other issues relating to the welfare of the citizens, rather than instituting restrictive religious laws that will keep the men and women far from each other in the same space.
I challenge the Kano State government to justify her present restrictive laws against the women. The government should be able to tell the world the expectant benefits of this new controversial law. The government should be able to relate the expected developmental benefit this new law will bring to the state and by extension for the women living in the state. Failure to make these clarifications will only portray the government as not only anti-women, but also as a government driven by religious bigotry.
The Kano State government must be made to know that the state has one of the highest cases of sodomy which has nothing to do with men and women, yet this is treated with levity.
The state government must also be made to understand that it has the highest number of girl-child marriages which have been provoking the sensibility of human civilization. It also has the highest number of failed marriages and divorce cases in the whole of Northern Nigeria.
It is worthy of note that the leading cause of this high level of failed marriages and divorce cases in the state has been attributed to these girl-child marriages which they say is supported by their religion. These are issues that should provoke the government’s thoughts and actions rather than the present restrictive law presently put in the state.
The reality of this law is that it will restrict a husband and wife from boarding the same tricycle; it will restrict brothers and sisters, relatives of opposite sex from travelling together. What kind of government makes such law at a time when there is high level of security risk for women to travel alone in the country?
What kind of government makes policies without considering the backlash effects and the loopholes of such polices? The Kano State government must be made to understand that we are in the 21st century and not in the stone age.
The Kano State government has been in the news for so many controversial and bad reasons, ranging from corruption, to the creating of new emirates for apparently vindictive purposes, to the incessant attempt to dethrone the substantive Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido for speaking against the bad policies of the state government, among others.
While we look unto the federal government to provide good governance, we must not relegate from beaming our searchlight on state governments that are either not performing or are busy putting up unnecessary and obnoxious policies that have no positive bearing on the lives of their people.