Residents, especially business owners, of Kano, Nigeria’s northern commercial hub, are counting their losses after police imposed a 24-hour curfew following the ruling of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday. .
After deducting more than 165,000 votes obtained by the ruling party during the March 18 gubernatorial election, the court removed the state governor, Abba Yusuf.
The court said the ballot papers containing the votes were not certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
After deducting the votes, the court announced that the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress, Gawuna Nasir, had been the winner of the election.
However, the governor has announced that he will appeal the court’s ruling.
State Police Commissioner Muhammed Gumel said the curfew was necessary to preserve law and order in the state.
The curfew came into force from 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20 to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 21. Police said violators would be arrested and forced to face the full wrath of the law.
Non-essential businesses were closed during the curfew period, Newslodge noted.
Major markets in the state – Kantin Kwari Textile Market, Wambai Markets, Abubakar Rimi Market and Singer Markets were closed on Thursday afternoon when our reporter went to check the effectiveness of the curfew.
Our reporter met some traders in their homes, both in Tudun Yola area of Gwale and Fagge local governments, who said the curfew was unnecessary and punitive.
“I doubt that the police have received their security report correctly, people are looking for something to eat almost every day and no one thinks about fighting. I know several people in the markets who can feed their families only if they go to the market and do business. Restricting the movement of these people kept them going hungry 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 affected by the coronavirus lockdown because it was during that lockdown that I moderated with my trading capital, I am managing to survive in the market, so I will never tolerate any lockdown and this curfew by the police only brings back the bad memories,” Ibrahim said.
Tasiu Abdulrazak, owner of a textile business in Kantin Kwari market, in a telephone conversation with Newslodge, said the impact of the curfew could linger for several weeks on the business as customers from neighboring states show up skeptical about coming to Kano.
“The problem with security in Kano is that it is scaring people from coming to the state to buy and sell because traders fear conflict and no one will risk their life and money to go to a place where it is not safe.
“This curfew will have several weeks of impact on businesses because merchants who come from somewhere will walk away thinking that not everything is fine. While I was talking to you, I received several phone calls from my clients out of state asking that several people were murdered, which is not true, but the curfew tells them that something is wrong in the state, Mr. Abdulrazak said.