How to address thuggery in Kano

We have to always remind ourselves that youths are the backbone of the society. If they are empowered, guided, educated and equipped with skills they will develop their society and make society a good place to live in. Likewise, if society neglects its youths, the society is doomed to fail in its entirety. Therefore, youths are like a double-edged sword – either to serve as ingredients of potential growth or a recipe for disaster.

First, we should not only look at the outward behaviour of our youths, but we must also look at its deep causative agents. There are immediate and remote causes of the ever-increasing crime committed by the youths. We must dig deep to know why things are the way they are. There is the law of cause and effect. The youths need to be redirected, guided, and oriented towards achieving meaningful and productive life.

They say, “Satan finds some mischief for the idle hands”. Something must be done to fill the void in the prime of the youths. The Youths must be educated and taught positive thinking which will give birth to positive actions. It is only when a person knows better that he can do better.

Secondly, parents must set good examples for the younger ones. Children learn from action rather than mere verbal admonishment. Children are very smart, they do not listen to what their elders say but they copy from the pattern of their habits. If you want your children to tell the truth, you must be honest yourself. It is by this that you can earn the respect of your children and they will emulate you. 

Alcohol, drugs and other intoxicants have wreaked havoc on our society. It is only in Nigeria that you will see unlicensed, unregulated and uneducated vendors hawking drugs. No society will know peace if drugs are allowed to be bought and sold easily like kolanut. There is a correlation between availability of drugs and rising crime rates. Most crimes are traced to be committed under the influence of drugs.

In addition, the media, especially television and the internet, have profound influence on the behavioural pattern of the youth. The Russian Communist leader, Joseph Stalin, described the TV  as the greatest propaganda machine to be invented. It has ability to retain attention and to indoctrinate persons or even an entire community. Most films, music videos our youths watch tend to glorify indecency, drugs and sex. 

And lastly, if we want to stamp out the menace of thuggery and other social vices committed by our youths particularly in Kano and across the country in general, we must tackle the root causes of those crimes. In this regard, there is so much to be done, but too little is being done. So, our action must be geared towards yielding desired outcomes. Doing otherwise will look like the Hausa proverb: killing a snake without cutting its poisonous head.

Adnan Abdullahi Adam,

Ungogo, Kano state 

[email protected]