The thought of the potholes as death-traps on the Trunk A road to Zuru, particularly from Zaima to Zuru or from Kontagora to Zuru fills one with nostalgia. When a friend asked when next I travel to Zuru he wants me to buy him fruits, Shea butter and Zuru’s famous pottery. The thought of the plight of plying that rout evokes the nostalgic feelings every Zuru patriotic indigene and Zuru’s residents and lovers of Zuru filled their minds.
I became lost in imagination on how hazardous life will be on reaching Zuru’s death-traps or landmines (the Zaima-Zuru road potholes) and safely crossing over the death-traps and landmines and then face the unimaginable primitive lifestyle in a community without potable water and power supply.
However, the essence of embarking on my last plight of plying the Zuru death-traps and landmines last weekend was not to ascertain the extent of the construction of Mahuta township roads or how far the Fakai-Matseri-Tungan yawo roads had gone. It was not also to find out if the perimeters of primary schools in that community were fenced or not.
I however don’t want to tell you that, we have to take about 60km on a feeder via Tadurga to reach Zuru to avoid rim or tyre rupture on Maga-Danko-Dabai road. That trip was also not to find out where the Dabai-Mahuta-Koko road has steadily deteriorated with potholes to also become another Zuru’s death-trap and landmine. These roads, even filled with sand do not guarantee easy passage. These would be stories for another day.
Home, sweet home! It saddens me, but I really don’t want to start telling you that local government projects has since become forgotten things since the emergence of cheating State-Local Government Joint Account contrapture. I’m not also willing to tell you that, up to date, in this 21st century, local government staff still queue in to collect their monthly stipends on the “35th” day of every month.
The essence of travelling home, aside paying homage to relatives, it was to share a business idea, which I fervently pray will bring succour to the communities to salvage poverty. I am particularly optimistic that transport companies will strive in our local communities. This line of business can be embarked by the local government authorities in Zuru.
I am certain that if carried out rightly, they will compete with some States in generating revenue and thereby empowering them to carry out community projects with the generated revenues. It is a fact that on almost every blessed day in our communities, there are one or two major markets in full swing in the Emirate. People troop in mass to buy or sell agricultural commodities in these markets.
With a transport company, jointly or single-handedly owned by a local government authority, the transit of goods and people to and fro other communities will be made easy. In addition, the local government authorities can buy taxis to provide service to people in towns and villages on subsidised rates. This will ease domestic transports and provide the much need revenue to the government(s) to empower them to carry out some basic community projects for their people.
What informed me to recommend this line of business to the local government authorities in Zuru is based on my position as a student union leader. I am fully aware of the full traffic government workers and students surrounding Zuru communities – Gusau, Sokoto, Birnin Kebbi and Kontagora who almost every weekend defied the hazardous death-traps and the landmines on all the access roads to Zuru and its communities to travel home on Thursdays or Fridays and travel back on Sundays or Monday mornings.
The habitual activity is a weekly ritual. If the local government authorities can invest into this business of transportation, I am sure that this alone will provide employment to some youths, thereby at least minimising the abject poverty bedevilling the communities, if not totally eradicating the abject poverty.
I hope for a better Zuru where one can be educated up to PhD level without getting to go outskirts of the Zuru community. I pray for a Zuru where tolerance for religious differences is mutually enjoyed and not endured, a Zuru with a Federal Medical Centre and food processing factories and agricultural technological production centres throughout the Emirate, a Zuru where every member of the Community contributes to the development of the community. I hope for a better Zuru. I so pray.
By Habibu Bawa
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