The Contributions of Kano State Re-Orientation Program to The Restoration of Hausa Moral Values

A society is built on a set of behaviors that are known as culture.  These behaviors (consisting of dos and don’ts) are expected to be respected by all members of that society.  Living in accordance with the provisions of the culture is considered as morality, and is always welcome by a sound citizen.  Thus, the government and other influential members of a society do all they could toward the improvement and restoration of these cultures. This paper aimed at finding out contributions of the Kano State Re-Orientation Program (Hukumar A Daidaita Sahu) toward restoration and improvement of Hausa moral values in Kano state. The methods used in conducting the research are the use of the library and interviews with stakeholders. The importance of the research includes exposing the high-flying achievements of the Kano State Re-Orientation Program.  The research could also be a catalyst to incite the Kano state and probably other state governments to reactivate the program (or any other program of the same kind) for goodness sake.

Keywords: Moral, Values, Culture, Hausa, Kano, “A Daidaita Sahu”


The Contributions of Kano State Re-Orientation Program to The Restoration of Hausa Moral Values


Ibrahim Bala Maidabino
Department of Primary Education
I.K.C.O.E. Dutsinma, Katsina State


Things change as time goes on.  Hence it is believed that change in the way people behave (culture) is inevitable.  However, in some cases, the change of behavior becomes a problem in society.  Thus we have positive and negative changes.  The culture of a given society consists of traits of behaviors that exist in society for quite a long time.  So culture passes from one generation to the other.

Any thwart to good Hausa culture (morality) is not welcome by Hausa people.  That is why; the government and other good citizens work day and night to see the survival of these good cultures. In line with this, the government of Kano state created a societal re-orientation program to restore and maintain the moral values of the Hausa people in the state. The Kano State Societal Re-orientation program is coded in the Hausa language as Hukumar A Daidaita Sahu (or A Daidaita Sahu for short).

This paper discussed in detail Hausa’s moral values, the history of the Kano State re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu) and the contributions of the Kano State re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu) to the restoration and maintenance of Hausa moral values.  Some of the Hausa moral values identified and discussed in this paper that are being facilitated by Kano State Re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu) include peaceful married life, self-reliance, respect to elders, environmental and body cleanness/social hygiene, good neighbourhood, and respect to parents and elders.  All of these values and many more are parts of Hausa culture that are regarded as morality.  Thus, they are found worthy to be practice in every Hausa community.  Immorality is discouraged by an average Hausa person.

The paper recommended that the Kano State Re-orientation program should be sufficiently provided with the fund and then be reverted to its original administrative status.  Kano State Re-orientation Program is here-by in this paper, sometimes referred to as ‘A Daidaita Sahu’ or ‘the program’.

Hausa moral values

Adamu (2019:127) said, “Hausa order of living consists up all about masses life, peaceful co-existence and security, land economy and religion and all other social life of the citizens.”  What this entails is that; the Hausa community is an organized society that has a format of doing things.  Living under the laid down traits of behaviors (culture) is morality, otherwise is immoral.  The teaching of good culture is “tarbiyyantarwa” in the Hausa language (Yahaya et al, 2006:68).    Hausa people start teaching their young ones moral values from early ages, so that they become responsible adults.  These moral values (cultures) include as stated by Alhasan et al (1988:25) and Yahaya, et al (2006:68, 70 and 79): self-reliance, perseverance, shyness, politeness, decent dress, honesty, cleanness, patience, brotherliness, respect for parents and elders, hard-working, and so on. An individual is regarded as a morally sound person only when he or she posses these qualities.  Every parent hopes to see that here children are morally sound.

According to Hausa traditions, all members of the society are agents of imparting these values to younger ones.  However, the following are outstanding agents; parents, elder brothers, and sisters, neighbours, relatives, religious leaders and teachers, rulers, and all other citizens.  That is why all elderly individuals are role models as learning is by imitation and the method of teaching is mostly practical (Adamu, 2019: 127).

On the other hand, Hausa culture is always against bad mannerism.  This is so because of their negative effects on society.  These bad manners or characteristics include but are not limited to; theft, sex out of wedlock, dishonesty, laziness, cowardness or trepidation, intolerance, begging, stinginess, corruption, injustice, suicide, and many more as listed out by Nalado (2014:147) and Hamza (2014:118).  Doing any of these ill-behaviors attracts harsh responses of varying degrees by society.

A brief history of Kano state Re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu)

Following the report of the committee of 34 members formulated by the then governor of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau in August; 2004 (Mai Fata no date: 30 and Baffa et al 2007:5), the program was organized and ready for commission. The program was established in the state following a law of Kano State House of Assembly known as Kano State Directorate of Societal Reorientation Law which was put into force on the 20th day of October; 2004 (12th day of 11, 1430AH). I quote the law below:


“There is hereby established for the State

a Directorate to be known as the Kano

 State Directorate on Societal Reorientation

and shall be headed by a Director General”

The suggestion for the program to be coded ‘A Daidaita Sahu’ was posed by one of the members that were assigned by the governor to design the program. The code connotes a call for correcting manners.  The phrase ‘A daidaita sahu’ is not new to Hausa speaking persons, especially Muslims.  That is because the phrase is always mentioned at the beginning of five daily congregational prayers.  Hence the code added color to the program.  The program was very much welcome and accepted by the vast majority of citizens of the state. That was why many individuals and associations from within and outside the state paid a courtesy visit to the head quarters of the program.

The idea that brought about the program was not more than ratifying many immoral acts among youth and other members of the dwellers in the state.  That was because it was observed that at that time, many immoral acts were on rise (Mai Fata et al, no date: 13-18).  Immoral acts here refer to deviation from known culture and religion of people of Kano state.

The program was launched on the 11th of September, 2004 by the then governor of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau (Mai Fata da wasu, Ba ranar wallafa: 5). The first Director-General of the program was Dr. Bala Muhammed Abdullahi. Who was also one of the members of the committee that designed the program’s affairs.

Having a societal re-orientation program is nothing new in Nigeria.   Examples of some other programs include MAMSA (Mass Mobilization Agency), WAI (War Against Indiscipline), and NOA (National Orientation Agency).  These programs are made for the same purposes as the Kano State Re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu).

The organizational structure for the operation of the program consists up of six different target group committees that take care of different areas of concern.  These committees are Youth Committee, Women Committee, Urban Communities, committees of rural communities, Educational Institutions, business committee and a committee of Civil Service (Baffa, et al, 2007:20).  Each of these communities has areas of concern concerning ratifying the indiscipline of the people the committee is attached to.

The Kano State Re-orientation Program was from inception directly under the governor’s office until the year 2012 when governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso moved it to the Ministry of Information, History and Culture as a unit (Abdullahi, 2019).

Not as many people now think. Kano State Re-orientation Program is still functioning.  However, the program is now under the state Ministry of information as a unit.  All the media programs that were been broadcasted by many mass media in and around the state, and that are sponsored by the A Daidaita Sahu are suspended.  To my understanding, this is one of the major reasons that the Program is now very passive.

A Daidaita Sahu was very popular at its time.  People in and around Kano state appreciate the program.  Thus many government parastatals and NGOs paid a-courtesy visits to the headquarters of the program.  Many NGOs also pledge to contribute toward seeing the success of the program. There had never been a quarrel between A Daidata Sahu and an individual or group of people in the state.

Abdullahi (2019) said that the greatest challenges faced by the Kano State re-orientation Program are insufficient funding, lack of autonomy, and imperialist status in the present government of Kano state.

Contributions of ADS

This part of the paper is concerned with listing and discussing the contributions of the Kano State Re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu) toward the restoration of Hausa moral cultures in the state in detail.  The contributions are diverse ranging from social activities to economics and religious moralities.

On marital life

Marriage is the basis of the family.  It has been a tradition of Hausa people to marry.  Many scholars have given many definitions of the word marriage. In my own opinion, marriage is a legal union that bind man and woman together as husband and wife.  Every Hausa parents want their children to get to marital level.  That is why many families make a long term plan and saving for marriage issues of their sons and daughters.  There are very many obstacles in married life in Hausa society.  Clearing any of the obstacles is a great contribution to the reservation of marriage culture.

Divorce is a big matrimonial problem that marks the end of marital union. Divorce is one of the problems identified by the Kano State Re-orientation Program (A Daidaita Sahu) in the Hausa Community (Kano state in particular).  Other marital problems identified by the program are early marriage (auren wuri), force marriage (auren dole) and un-peaceful marriage life (Baffa et al, 2007:36). Divorce is a legal desolation and separation of matrimony bond between husband and wife.  So it is one of the targets of A Daidaita Sahu to contribute immensely in restoring peaceful marriage life (Baffa et al, 2007:36).  In one of the “Zauren Shawara” broadcasting program which is organized and sponsored by the Kano State Re-orientation Program, where discussions on frequent/rampant divorce in the state ware made, once talk on marital issues in the society. The broadcast leads to the emergence of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that help divorcees to engage in some businesses for self-reliance.


Hausa is not a lazy tribe.  In typical Hausa society, a lazy man does not have respect from others.  Alhassan et al (1988:25) said Hausa people look down upon every lazy person (who does not work to earn living necessities for him/herself), in all most all aspect of life. That necessitates every grown-up person to work hard to become self reliant. Auta (2006:194) explains that; “In Hausa land, it is compulsory upon every individual to engage in a certain business if he wants to earn peoples’ respect.”Abubakar and Liman (2014:139) said married women and old men also strive to depend on themselves in Hausa land.  Therefore, Self-reliance is a moral act in Hausa society. The actions of the Kano State Re-orientation Program are in accord with this tradition.  The program (A Daidaita Sahu) initiated some pilot businesses that engage Almajirai to earn some income other than begging. These pilot businesses initiated by A Daidaita Sahu include ‘Leda Jari’ (Baffa et al, 2007:68). Employment makes youth to be law-abiding and also make them deceit from corrupt practices, said Buhari (2016:135).

Avoiding sex out of Wedlock

Traditionally, Hausa people hate sex out of wedlock.  This has been the habit of Hausa people long before the influence of Islamic and Christian cultures.  A Daidaita Sahu has contributed immensely toward minimizing sex out of wedlock in the state.  One of the ways through which the program contributed is by sponsoring literary pieces that highlighted the danger of sex out of wedlock.  Some of them are the prose book ‘Sutura Ko Tsiraici? Written by Abdullahi Muktar (Yaron Malam), ‘Jama’a mu ji Tsoron Allah’ a-poetry composed by Amina and a Hausa drama named ‘Lalacewar Yara a Wajen Fati’.

On education

Education is the backbone of every society.  Thus people say knowledge is power.  One can only behaves following his cultural morality, only when he knows of the culture.  Kano State Re-orientation Program has sponsored production of many literary and historic books that enlighten about and promote Hausa moral values (Mai Fata, 2020, Baffa, etal, 2007 and Rabi’u,2020). Among literary and history books produced by Kano State Re-orientation Program that educate citizens on the history and moral value of Kano people include (Baffa et al, 2007:75);

            Books                                      Author

1.         ‘Yar Bahaushe            Lawal Adamu Giginyu:

2.         Tarbiyyar Iyali                        Lawan Sarki Daneji

3.         Algus                                       Abbas da Chiromawa

4.         A Dalilin Talla                        Muhammad Lawan

5.         Wanzamin Bono                     Umma Aliyu Musa

6.         Kantafi                                    Sa’adatu Baba Ahmad

7.         Garin Banza                            Nasiru Ahmad ‘Yan Awaki

8.         Jiki ya fi Kunne Ji                   Maigari Ahmed Bichi

9.         Ceto ko Cuta                           Aminuddeen Ladan Abubakar

10.       Hadarin Kaka                          Kabiru Yusuf Anka

11.       Mugun Ji                                 Nazir Adam Salih

12.       Tsuntsun da ya ja ruwa           Aminu Salisu

13.       Da Muguwar Rawa                 Iliyasu da wasu

14.       Karkon Dabino                       Zahreddeen & ‘Yan Gurasa   

15.       Kowa ya Gyara -                     Yusuf Adamu

16.       Kowa ya yi Nagari                  Nura Ahmad

17.       Himma Bata ga Raggo            Aisha Zakari


 Each of these books teaches some kinds of moral values of the Hausa people. For examples, ‘Himma Bata ga Raggo’ of Aisha Zakari educates the reader on perseverance and determination in the quest for a good thing like education. ‘Garin Banza’ of Nasiru Ahmad ‘Yan Awaki teaches a Hausa moral value of avoiding acquiring wealth through an unjust cause and the bad consequences of gathering wealth though un-just ways. The book Tarbiyyar Iyali of Lawan Sarki Daneji discusses extensively the running of a good family.  Correct manners of children up bringing were also discussed.  To be precise there is no spare of Hausa tradition that is not given attention with the aims of correcting, improving and or restoration in the literature made or assisted by A Daidaita Sahu.

On honesty and trust

Honesty is one of the behaviors that make an individual in Hausa society earns respect.  That is because anyone that is not honest is regarded as irresponsible. Kano State Re-orientation Program restored this good culture of the Hausa people.  Some of the ways by which this was achieved were by producing pieces of literature that encourage people to be honest and trustful. An example of this literature piece is ‘Waƙar jamiammu na tsaro ku zo duk mu Daidaita’ in which police were called to always work diligently honestly, and above all justly.  They were also reminded that they should not demand a bribe of any kind from people, because their work would be reward spiritually by their creature in heaven.

On good neighborhood

This is a very important aspect of the social life of the Hausa community.  Hausawa (Hausa people) are very well known for their good neighborhood.  In traditional Hausa society, neighbors come together, especially during dinner, to eat together.  Such Hausa tradition is encouraged in many plays which were made and sponsored by A Daidaita Sahu of Kano state. A critical analysis of the following plays broadcasted by Radio Am/FM Kano for A Daidaita Sahu specifically encourage revitalization of good a neighborhood known to Hausa people; ‘Kyakkyawar Mu’amala da Maƙota’ (Radio AM/FM Kano, 9/6/2010), ‘Haƙƙin Maƙota (Radio AM/FM Kano, 12/6/2010), ‘Zumunci’ (Radio AM/FM Kano, 6/6/2009), ‘Tarbiyya’ (Radio AM/FM Kano, 9/5/2010) to mention but a few.

Respect for parents

Respect for parents is a matter of serious concern among the Hausa people.  The religion of most Hausa people, Islam, also regards respect to the parents.  It is a shameful thing to disobey parents in Hausa society.  No matter how old a Hausa man or woman is, he/she remains answerable to his parents’ command.  In Kano state respect for parents is ranked very high among moral values.  This is the practice everywhere in Hausa society.

Kano State Re-orientation Program has made several attempts to promote respect to parents among people of Kano state. Most of A Daidaita Sahu literature focus among other values on respect to parents.  For examples, Biyayya ga Iyaye (12/6.2010)

On respect to elders

A typical Hausa man is not only respectful to his parent but also all elders or his/her seniors.  Just as mentioned above, A Daidaita Sahu tried to restore this good culture of the Hausa people in the state.

On cleanness/social hygiene

A Daidaita Sahu has contributed immensely toward the restoration of cleanness/social hygiene in the state in so many ways.  For example, the program introduced its pilot program of ‘Leda Jari’ that changed the look of the streets in the state.  People are paid to collate waste leather and polythene on the streets.  The waste materials cause to hold on of water in the drainages.  The hold on gives rise to several mosquitoes and the diseases they caused.  Cleanness/social hygiene is part of Hausa’s moral values because Hausa people traditionally do not let waste be disposed of everywhere, instead of thy park waste in a special place they call Jijji/juji (Dump refuse).

Political involvement

Long before the arrival of Islam and western cultures, Hausa society has an established system of government.  Hausa are always loyal to their government.  In some instances, members of a community voluntarily work on the farm of their leaders.  A Daidaita Sahu encourages loyalty to the government in all spare of life, be it payment of revenue and or levy/tax, and be obedient to its rules and orders.  These can be a witness in the Hausa drama broadcast from Radio AM/FM Kano for Adaidaita Sahu.  Examples of these dramas are ‘Biyan Kuxin Haraji 1’ (Radio Kano AM/FM 28/7/2005), ‘Sannu ba ta Hana Zuwa’ (Radio Kano AM/FM 26/11/2008), ‘Ma’aikata’ (Radio Kano AM/FM 22/1/2006), ‘Idan Kunne ya ji’ (Radio Kano AM/FM 22/1/2009).

The relevance of the research

This research is very much important as it discussed two important matters in the Hausa community; Hausa’s moral values and the contributions of the government agency (Kano State Re-orientation Program) to the restoration of these values.  So Hausa’s moral values were listed out and functions of A Daidaita Sahu and relations of the functions with Hausa moral values.  The research is important because it keeps history and adds to the field of knowledge list of some Hausa moral values.


This conceptual paper discussed intensively the contributions of the Kano State Re-orientation Program toward the restoration of Hausa moral values.  The paper contains brief notes on Hausa’s moral values and the history of the Kano State Re-orientation Program.  The paper also mentioned and explained Hausa’s moral values that are supported by the program (A Daidaita Sahu).  Manners by which the program restores the moral values are also conversed.  The importance of the research includes pin-pointing the positive impacts of the Kano State Re-orientation Program on the restoration of Hausa’s moral values in the state.  The paper recommended that the state government should re-empower the program to be as vibrant as in its early years so that it continues with its vital works in the state.


1)      The Kano State Re-orientation program should be dis-engage from the Ministry of Information, Tourism, and Culture of the state and then be attached to the office of the governor as earlier organized.

2)      The program should be more funded and empowered in such a way that it can continue with its vital works in the state as it has been in its early ages.

3)      Other northern state governors should create programs like A Daidaita Sahu in their states to boost the morals of their citizenry.


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