Curbing phone snatching, the new epidemic in Kano

By Alhaqatu Bawa Habib

Snatching of phones appears to be one of the most predominant crimes in Kano state. It makes residents of state feel insecure because whenever they are leaving their homes, they are always scared, thinking that they might lose their phones or even their lives, when these criminals attack them.

Many people have been killed and some are still in the hospitals receiving medical treatments because of the injuries they have sustained.

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According to Sani Lawal Malumfashi, a Professor at the Department of Sociology, Bayero University Kano (BUK), “phones and computers are extremely tools in participating in the ‘information society,’ but many of the criminals lack the resources to get them, being out of employment.”

These criminals usually attack people who use tricycles as their means of transportation. Hasna, a BUK student is one of the victims of the ugly practice.

Narrating her experience, she said: “I left for school around 7am because I was having exams on that day, I stopped a tricycle, but when it stopped there was no extra seat, so they left and I continued trekking, but I saw the same tricycle I stopped on the way.

“I thought he stopped to drop off a passenger, unfortunately, one of the passenger came out and asked me to give out my phone to him before I could talk another passenger came out and brought out a knife and threatened to kill me if I don’t give it to him, out of fear I gave it to them.”

Ridwan Abdulhamid, the head of department, Mass communication at Skyline University Nigeria, also recounted his ordeal.

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“I was trekking home around 9: pm, when I saw a knife pointed at my throat by a tall and huge guy, the next thing, he asked me to bring out my phone. I quickly handed over my phone to him, and that was how I escaped death that day,” he said.

Some of the areas experiencing this epidemic in Kano are Kabuga, Tudun Maliki, Fagge Plaza, Farm Centre, and other areas that have less people in the state. Most victims who fall into their traps are young men and women with fancy and expensive phones.

People are advised to stop bringing out their phones whenever they are in commercial cars and tricycles. ‘When you see two men in a tricycle be careful, because in assessing some of the comments and reactions that I have read so far, most of the victims shared their experiences of two men in a tricycle.

Tricycle in Kano is popularly called Keke Napep, it is a three wheel vehicle that comes mostly in yellow and green colours. It was used to substitute the then commercial motorcycles popularly called Achaba in Kano State.

Therefore, due to this menace of snatching ladies handbags and phones through Keke Napep, there is a need for the state government to come to the plight of the masses by producing state owned buses that will ply the nook and cranny of the state. This will not just reduce the epidemic of phones snatching, but will help in creating a crime free society.

Alhaqatu Bawa Habib is a level 200 student of Mass Communication at Skyline University Nigeria. The writer can be reached via:Alhaqbawahabib@gmail.com

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