Everyday I trek in the morning, especially on the high roads, something I am fond of, I get annoyed, seeing people sweeping the pavements, instead of supervising machines to do the work. Then one morning my thinking changed. I realized it was not the fact that my country did not provide the sweeping machines I should be worrying about, but the kind of people that do the sweeping. The question is, are most of the REMASAB labourers old age?
It is very unfortunate how the government and the society are not showing any concerns to the old age, especially women, but some sort of ageism. It is hard to reason with old people sweeping roads for us, while the vibrant young age are doing the simple works. In Kano, I wonder in awe and angst that most of these sweepers are old people, people that should be at home, being taken care of. The government should pay more attention to these problems, rather than how to win elections or siphoning the treasury.
What happens to the myriad youth that roam about streets having no jobs? Why can’t the government instead of making life a hell for the old people, employ the youth as part-time workers? Why can’t the government employ interested tertiary institution students as part-time workers? The government should make a move to turn upside down the situation, swap all the old age sweepers with the youth, set some sort of age criterion for the employment.
By holistically looking at the situation, one will begin to realize that or even take a pace, like I do, to refute on the cluelessness or, perhaps lack of sympathy in the minds of our leaders. Albeit, someone may say this is impossible. Well, people should not care whether it is a possiblility or not, leaders are problem fixers. They campaign to get votes, afterall. And for those that do not see the point of haranguing on this-then someone needs a psychiatrist.
Sadiq Aliyu Waziri writes from Kano