Residents, especially business owners, of Kano, the commercial hub of Northern Nigeria, are counting losses after the police imposed a 24-hour curfew following the judgement of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday.
After deducting more than 165,000 votes scored by the ruling party during the 18 March governorship election, the tribunal sacked the state governor, Abba Yusuf.
The tribunal said the ballots containing the votes were not certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
After deducting the votes, the tribunal announced that the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress, Gawuna Nasir, was the winner of the election.
The governor has, however, announced that he will be appealing the judgement of the tribunal.
The police commissioner of the state, Muhammed Gumel, said the curfew was necessary to preserve law and order in the state.
The curfew took effect from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 20 September (to) 6 p.m. on Thursday, 21st September. The police said violators would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
Non-essential businesses were closed during the period of the curfew, PREMIUM TIMES noticed.
Major markets in the state – the Kantin Kwari Textile market, Wambai markets, Abubakar Rimi market and Singer markets were closed on Thursday afternoon when our reporter went around to ascertain the effectiveness of the curfew.
Our reporter met some traders at home both in the Tudun Yola area of Gwale and Fagge Local Governments who said the curfew was unnecessary and punitive.
“I doubt if the police got their security report correct, people are looking for what to eat almost daily, and nobody is thinking of quarrelling. I know several people in the markets who can feed their families only if they go to the market and do business. Restricting these people from movement kept them in hunger for a whole day, said Auwalu Isah, a resident of Tudun Yola.
Another trader, Shazali Ibrahim, also from Tudun Yola, said the curfew brought back memories of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic that almost ruined his business.
“I am still being affected by the coronavirus lockdown because it was during that lockdown, I tempered with my business capital, I am managing to survive in the market, so anything lockdown will never be tolerated by me and this curfew by the police just brings back the bad memories,” Mr Ibrahim said.
Tasiu Abdulrazak, a textile business owner at the Kantin Kwari market, in a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES, said the impact of the curfew may subsist for several weeks’ impact on the business as customers from neighbouring states will be sceptical about coming to Kano.
“The problem with the security issue in Kano is that is scaring people away from coming to the state to buy and sell because traders are fearful of conflict and nobody will risk his life and money to come to a place where it’s not secure.
“This curfew will have several weeks of impact on the businesses because traders coming from a way will stay away thinking that all is not well. As I spoke with you I have received several phone calls from my customers outside the state asking that several people were killed which is not true, but the curfew is telling them that something is wrong with the state, Mr Abdulrazak said.
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