Sabo: Where women climb hill to get to Kuje market

“This is the shortest route to Kuje town, but the rocky hill is the major obstacle as you can see. How I wish you were here early in the morning to see how our women carry plantain on their shoulders and climb up and down the hill to Kuje market,” a resident, Mr. Isaac Joshua, told this reporter.

Sabo community, which is under Kwaku ward of Kuje Area Council is inhabited mostly by Gbagyi speaking people who are peasant farmers.

Our reporter learnt that the people farm plantain on a large scale but getting it to the market, in Kuje town, is usually a herculean task.

The traditional ruler of the community, Abubakar T. Danjuma, who spoke with our reporter, said lack of good access road which will link his people to Kuje town has been one of the major challenges facing the community.

He said the road, which is shortest from the community to Kuje, was graded during the administration of a former chairman of the council, Senator Usman Jibrin Wowo.

Communities from three other villages, Shaji, Godoji and Wumi, also use the road to get to Kuje town.

“Before then, our people had to pass through Dadu- Ijah to get to Kwali before proceeding to Kuje town or Abuja city centre, until some local hunters discovered this short cut and when they came and informed me, I mobilized elders and youth to create a path from Sabo to Kuje town.

“After that, Wowo, who was the chairman at the time, brought a grader to assist in opening the road and since then, the community mobilises to repair the road every year,” he said.

He noted that the road was not safe for the villagers as hoodlums take advantage of the difficult nature of the road to rob hikers and cyclists of valuables, adding that motorcycle snatchers also operate on the road.

“We have lost four lives here in this community to armed robbery attacks and suspected motorcycle snatchers who take advantage of the bad road to attack people,” he said.

He said the suspected robbers always hide behind the rocks and inside the plantain farms to unleash terror on their victims and dispossess them of their valuables especially on Kuje market days when villagers who have gone to sell their farm produce were returning to the village.

Danjuma explained that the hardship his people, especially women, pass through while climbing the hill with heavy loads on their shoulders going to Kuje market was quite worrisome.

“In fact, even some pickup vans can’t climb the hill except those rugged four wheel drive trucks,” he added.

The traditional ruler said he has already set up a nine-man committee to interface with the authorities of Kuje Area Council and the FCT administration so that the road can be constructed.

He said the construction of the road will ease movement of people from the village and other surrounding villages to Kuje town.

He also called on the council authorities to liaise with FCT police command and provide a police outpost in the community to checkmate crime in the area.

He said, though, the village has vigilantes, they work only on Kuje market days, adding that the community lacks enough boreholes, saying the population of the community, including Fulani who reside in the area have overstretched the functional boreholes at the community.

He said women always queue up on daily basis with their basins waiting to get water from the borehole.

The village chief said though a contract for sinking of a new borehole and provision of an overhead tank has been awarded by Senator Philip Aduda, members of the community were still expecting the contractor to mobilize to the site.

When contacted, the chairman of the council, Alhaji Abdullahi D. Galadima, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Haruna Usman, said the council was not unaware of the challenges facing the community. 

He said the council had already captured the construction of rural roads across the 10 wards in the council in the 2018 budget.

He stated that the council has also embarked on sinking of 20 hand pump boreholes across the 10 political wards of the council, which he said was aimed at cushioning the perennial water problem facing rural communities in the council.

“But sometimes, the problem we  face with some of these communities is that they don’t bother to channel some of these challenges through their councilors and without doing so, how will one know if a borehole has broken down, “ he said.

On the police outpost, the chairman said the council was already liaising with the Kuje divisional police headquarters to see how a police outpost can be sited at the community.

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