The Unreported in Maiduguri, By Mustapha Mohammed
There is no gain saying Borno state has been a peace loving state that accommodates all irrespective of denomination, but unfortunately, the spate of attacks by insurgents in Maiduguri has changed its name from home of peace to something else. Thus, making it become a household name with different identifications.
No doubt, the security challenge facing the state has affected so many activities, both social, religious, economic among others. For instance, low turnout of well wishers and sympathizers during ceremonies is an unusual practice among peace loving people of the state. Gone are days when events tend to be memorable and filled to capacity with peoples from all walks of life. Weddings which are before filled to capacity is now attended by few people assigned by the grooms family, and most times, it is done after Friday congregational prayers to avoid unnecessary public gathering that will attract the attention of the security or the unknown.
A common practice these days especially in areas affected is that, well wishers and sympathizers have adopted new strategy of sending congratulatory and condolence messages via phone, in addition to contribution or gift through a proxy.
The surfacing and subsequent patronage of satellite graveyards in strategic areas within the metropolis like Bolori, Shuwari Damboa Road, Shuwari Moduganari, Bulumkutu, Galtimari, just to mention but a few, seems to be the other of the day. Most residence who lost their loved ones, prefer burying them in the aforementioned graveyards than taking them to the ancient Gwange graveyard.
Fear, traffic jam, too much stop and search and, barricades on the route to Gwange graveyard is some of the factors identified militating the patronage. It is noteworthy to say that, only well to do individuals in the state convey their corpses to the graveyard.
Shortage of food items in addition to increase in price of such items is a prevailing issue. This might not be unconnected with the restriction of movement as a result of state of emergency as well as extortion by security operatives on goods and services on major high ways.
As an addendum, records has shown that, since 1983 during Muhammad Goni’s administration, no market was built by successive government in Borno, and the existing ones are either closed down completely or destroyed. For instance, Abbaganaram market has been under lock and key for long; Custom market was destroyed El-Kanemi Shopping Complex was gotted by fire while the 16 Monday Market gates are all locked with only 2 open.
Wards like Gamboru and Hausari are said to be the headquarters of pharmaceutical stores in the state capital but today, the near absence of pharmaceutical stores in the aforementioned poses serious setback to health as well as business activities in the state capital.
A unique practice among most residents residing in congested areas in the metropolis especially Hausari, Mafoni, Fezzan is sleeping and relaxing outdoors during hot season. Today, the fear and molestation of the unknow and bad eggs in the society has forced them sleep indoors no matter how hot the weather is.
Ideally, the time for night prayers differs, and on no account be merged and performed together except in situations of heavy downpour, war situation and in a state of travel. However, most areas in the state capital have been merging Magrib and Isha prayers for bearly three years.
As rainy season approaches, the question most people ask is that will farming activities take place in the state this year taking into cognizance that most farming activities take place in outskirts of the city and yet nothing in respect to preparation has started.
BY FATIMA MOHAMMED NUR
DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION
UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI
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