The Kano Roads and Traffic Agency known by its acronym KAROTA was established by former governor Rabiu Kwankwaso in 2012 to sanitise the roads by ensuring every motorist in the state upheld the law. It is a known fact that roads in Kano are sanitised, the fear of KAROTA has made many citizens to abide by the law, leaving people to drive on the roads of Kano without a law and an institution to regulate the law is a call to recklessness, accidents via rough driving by motorists.
The first Managing Director of KAROTA, Mohammed Diggol, has done so much in bringing this institution to limelight; it has made many motorists to drive with care and caution to avoid arrest for breach of KAROTA laws. The traffic is controlled through a white line marked on the road, no changing of lane while driving, possession of a driving licence and vehicle particulars, making of calls while driving or eating are part of the KAROTA offences that attract a fine in thousands of naira.
Since Diggol and other MDs that followed – Mustapha Hamza Buhari Bakwana, AIG Mohammed Hadi Zarewa, Arc. Ibrahim Garba Kabara – there was no time that KAROTA witnessed developmental reforms as we are witnessing in the current administration of Baffa Babba Danagundi. I was with the MD last week Friday to forward a complaint against a KAROTA personnel that treated me unjustly, a top government official sent a civil servant to seek for favour on a law breaker who engaged a KAROTA official in a fight, gave him a punch and inflicted injury on his face because he felt he had someone at the top to save him from the mess he committed.
The case was brought to the MD in my presence; he handled it fairly and justly. He told the civil servant that the person he wanted to seek favour for must pay the fine. It is in the midst of this that the MD gave me such an example, how top politicians and government officials are supporting law breakers. He assured me that the law is not an exempter of any individual. His sister was caught for an offence on one of the roads, she called him to get her out but he refused, he assured her that the only thing that will save her is paying the fine for the offence she committed and that’s what happened.
However, since the KAROTA personnel are in the habit of collecting bribe, assaulting motorists and lacking in manner of approach, the MD should organise retreat for all his personnel on matters of how to discharge their duties professionally; how to approach a driver and talk to him/her and how to clarify the offence committed in a professional manner. That will earn the personnel respect from every kind of driver. Professionalism matters, KAROTA personnel need more training that will guide them well in the discharge of their duties in the spirit of professionalism.
A KAROTA official insulted me and my profession, he thought he was going to go free; I reported him to the MD and explained all that happened; I gave the MD his name and rank. He was brought to the MD’s office and after listening to both of us, the personnel were found wanting and a committee was set up to further investigate the matter. This is the same personnel in the habit of collecting bribe on the road and if I will mention his name here; many could have come across this rude and arrogant personnel. With Baffa Babba Danagundi at the helm of this institution, personnel that are in the habit of tarnishing the image of KAROTA institution are having nowhere to hide.
Adnan Tudunwada: [email protected]
Mohammed Dahiru Lawal, Bayero University, Kano