Abdurrahman Isa; The Pioneer Victim of a Bad Policy

Abdurrahman Isa; The Pioneer Victim of a Bad Policy

Kabir Nizam Baba

AREWA AGENDA – Abdurrahman Isa was a young lad who hails from a humble family in Azare- northern part of Bauchi State. An illustrious, dutiful child whose last domestic chore was fetching water for the use of his widowed mother. He used to operate (commercially ride) a tricycle to earn a living in a region stricken by poverty and massive unemployment. Under normal circumstances, business and commercial vehicles operators do not work during festivities such as these. As such, Abdurrahman and his ilks have the opportunity to use those vehicles for the day to get something, and ultimately report back to the owner or substantive operator with something too!

It was in pursuance of a similar contract as above that Abdurrahman embarked on a voyage of no return. He set out for work only for his mother to receive his remains found yesterday in the evening as abandoned in the bush dozens of kilometres away. The killer(s), and the vehicle, at large!

It could be recalled that the State Government had taken the implausible decision of banning Okada (Acha6a) couple of weeks ago. Hence, tricycles remain the only viable, legit means of public transportation within the towns. This ill-timed decision had thrown thousands of people into hell of a quagmire. Many operators, whose livelihoods depend solely on the endeavour were left to their fates. The gesture extended by the authority to supply a number of tricycles as a soft loan in the previous week was less than satisfactory. At best, it was a draining political fashion parade.

As I seem to feel the pain of his loss, the frightening security threat approaching us, God forbid, only escalates. Some questions bother me:

1. Against a narrative of the proponents of the Okada-ban policy that the trade was an avenue, and vehicular apparatus for many crimes, isn’t this sad event a zinger to destroy such unfounded argument? Is robbery, killing, snatching, smuggling only operatable in the Okada industry? How could this event be distilled and distinguished?

2. Doesn’t it appear that the policy makers are only robbing Paul to pay Peter by blocking a supposed chain of crimes only to create a worse? In other words, a lot of Okada operators are now denied their daily hustles. And for them to survive in the industry they know, they need to upgrade. In the absence of an enabling environment and condition to smoothly obtain the upgrade (tricycle), the current owners of the tricycle (and prospective ones) are at a very high risk. For by any means, some (if not most) of them must upgrade. I repeat, by any means!

3. It is on record that many Okada operators have lost their lives or limbs or senses in the hands of robbers who snatched their vehicles. In the absence of the then marketable merchandise (Bajaj motorcycles), are those robbers now upgrading to the available merchandise (tricycles)?

4. How safe are the tricycle operators, given the recent development which was earlier unheard of, or scarcely heard of, in this jurisdiction?
While Abdurrahman’s death (though connected with the new policy) couldn’t have been avoided, nor the circumstances that led to it, I am confident that it provides our policy makers another cogent reason to review the No-Okada policy.

May Allah Allah forgive his shortcomings, grant his parents the fortitude to bear the huge loss, reveal the perpetrators of this great mischief and make our land safer.

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives.

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