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Kaduna Insecurity: Should we all move our weddings to Abuja?

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A cousin of mine got married today in Kaduna. I managed to meet the 11am wedding fatiha at Sultan Bello Mosque. Considering the places I had to be before then and later be at the Mosque.

No thanks to the #kadunamarathon.

But while some were celebrating the marathon even as onlookers, Rigasa community was running a different marathon.

They ran marathons from the Airport-Railway station road to their houses for safety as gunmen rained bullet on innocent motorists. They later ran from the comfort of their hiding enclaves to 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital where their beloved youngmen with bullets lodged in their bodies were rushed to.

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By day break, they had to run another marathon to the cemetery as one of the youngmen; Rabiu Auwal a trained Agriculture Engineer from Bayero University, Kano was lost to the cold hands of death following the gunmen attack.

The family of one the youngmen; El-Khaddab are still running a marathon between their house and the 44 hospital as he battles for his dear life.

In fact, even the Divisional Police Officer DPO of the community police station CSP Goronyo ran a marathon to save the people, in the process got his official vehicle ridden by bullet. The DPO escaped by whiskers.

As you read this, the community and families of one of the youngmen: Sani Khalil are still running a marathon, from pillar to poll to see how he would be saved as he is in the hands of the kidnappers in the bushes with bullet lodged in his body.

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Just yesterday Friday, one of my reporters bade me farewell as she boarded the 6pm train from Kaduna to Abuja. 9pm at most, she would have been in Abuja, but she didn’t get to her destination in Abuja until past 3am this morning.

The train broke down in the middle of nowhere and her mind, like that of many in the coaches, ran marathons till day break.

Sorry, I deviated from my story. But let me finish the train story. My younger sister came from Abuja to attend our cousin’s wedding. She was at Kubwa train station as early as after the first train left which is between 6:30am and 8:00am. She couldn’t get a ticket almost by midday. She had no option but hit the roads with all the “what ifs”.

She got to Kaduna late in the evening with a sigh of relief from her, her husbands and kids in the other end, and for us here in Kaduna.

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I went for the wedding reception and the discussions were around what people who had to travel from afar went through.

Many had different stories to tell; bad roads, banditry, kidnapping, broken down vehicles, osying twice transport fare and even fuelling et al.

On 9th of November, 2020, I drove from Kaduna to Zaria early in the morning for the live coverage of the coronation of the new and 19th Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali. I drove back and headed straight to Rigasa train station to leave for Abuja.

Due to the diversion at Kawo, we all had to drive to Mondo with no u-turn till the Mondo roundabout. I was tempted to go through Mondo and airport road to Rigasa. But I had a change of kind and drove through the Nmadi Azikiwe Bypass with craters in the name of potholes and through Rigasa to the train station.

By Wednesday, I had to come back to Kaduna by road, as there were just two train services for that day; 6am and 6pm and couldn’t wait for the 6pm as I had things to do in the offfice.

Hmm, my trip to Kaduna from Abuja by road is a story for another day. Especially with the gory fatal accident i witnessed at Bakin Ruwa where a tipper crushed two to death instantly in a Volkswagen salon car by crossing from the opposite path and simply due to lack of median separator on that bad but ever busy highway.

The question on some lips at my cousin’s wedding reception was: do VIPs, especially politicians, even those based in Kaduna move their children’s wedding to Abuja because of the menace of insecurity?

And I have been asking myself ever since; should we all move our weddings to Abuja from Kaduna because of the insecurity?

Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir

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