By Aliyu Dangida, Dutse
It sounds odd but it is true. It is a clash between culture and modernity in Jigawa State where women are disenfranchised by custom.
This is one of the discoveries in the state that prides itself as a “New World.”
Saturday Vanguard discovered that in a community, Sabon Gari Hara is a society where men rule the world according to their custom with little or no respect for feminism.
The community which is peopled by more than 700 people boasts of 500 houses.
It is located within 25 kilometres from Dutse, the sleepy capital of the state. Most inhabitants are migrants from Katsina State, who had lived in the area for a thousand years. Farming and animal husbandry are the major occupations of this egalitarian people.
Alhaji Mas‘udu Hara, a resident told Saturday Vanguard that their norm disallows their wives to vote during an election, adding that men are allowed to vote on behalf of their wives. Mas’udu Hara said: “Every electoral official deployed to our hamlet is aware of our decision and abides by it. Otherwise, we boycott the exercise”.
When asked if their decision had a connection with the absence of basic amenities in their area, the middle-aged man, who appeared to have seen the rough side of life, said it had nothing to do with the neglect of their community.
Head of the Hara town, Malam Salisu, said: “We vote for our wives’ choice during an election and we vote for our own choice. We don’t mind to have a different choice with our wives”.
The absence of basic amenities is a challenge to inhabitants of the community.
Another resident Malam Hassan lamented that Dutse Local Government Area and the Jigawa State government denied them access to quality education, healthcare services, access to good roads, power supply, and security among others.
Hassan, therefore, called on the Chairman of Dutse Municipal Council, and their elected representatives to come to their rescue, saying the community would not support any politician who does not mean well for the indigenes.
Another inhabitant, Alhaji Mohd Salisu said: “Even when we want to charge our phones, we trek to Sabilari town which is about three kilometres from here. We have only one Islamiyya school containing about 50 pupils with one volunteered teacher.’’
Further investigation revealed that any family that cannot afford to take its children to school simply assigns them a role in the farm.
Like every other community, Sabon Gari Hara has brilliant youths.
For instance, Basiru Sidi emerged a winner in the last Jigawa State Qur‘anic Competition.
Reacting to the plight of the indigenes of the community, Chairman of Dutse Local Government Area, Bala ‘Yar’gaba pledged to build a school and provide potable water in the 2019 budget of the council.
Whichever way one may choose to look at it, Sabon Gari Hara has been shortchanged by successive administrations in Jigawa State.