chapter  8
10 Pages

Politics no More?

WithDavid Williams

On July 1, 1976, Shehu Shagari was appointed by the Military Governor of the North-Western State, not split into Sokoto and Niger states, chairman of a new Sokoto Urban Development Authority (SUDA). The old city, slowly spreading into the countryside, was overwhelmed by its role as capital of a major state. The great central market at Sokoto had also been burned down. The normal chaos created by traders’ stalls and hawkers, the roadside motor car and bicycle repairers, stacks of firewood and thatching, obstructively parked vehicles, and open-air cooking stalls, was worsened by the absence of any major central area laid out specially for traders. SUDA built new market, at a cost, with its broad access roads and huge parking area, of some N24m. It is one of the biggest in West Africa, where markets are great social as well as commercial institutions. After refuse disposal and the market, SUDA’s main problem was the urban bus service.