Residents of Ghari, formerly known as Kunchi Local Government Area of Kano State, are expressing deep appreciation to the committed individuals and authorities who saw the realisation of changing the name of their council.
Our correspondent who visited the headquarters of the local government recently observed that both the old and young were comfortable with the change of name, saying they saw the development as a mark of success and triumph.
There was a belief that the name, Kunchi, negatively impacted the livelihoods of the people of the local government area, including those living outside.
Daily Trust Saturday reports that recently, the Kano State House of Assembly officially renamed Kunchi Local Government Area as Ghari.
This change followed the fifth amendment of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
The new name, Ghari, translates to “land” in Hausa, reflecting the local terrain and culture.
Kunchi, now Ghari, lies in the southern region of Kano State, with a population exceeding 200,000 residents.
The administrative headquarters of the now renamed Ghari Local Government Area, covering Ridawa, Matan Fada, Shamakawa, Kasuwar, Kuka, Yamdadi Shuwaki, Gwarmi, Bumai, Garin Sheme, is in Kunchi town of Kunchi district.
It is one of the 44 local government areas located in the northern part of Kano State senatorial zone. It is in the same federal constituency as Tsanyawa Local Government Area.
Ghari Local Government Area is made up of 10 wards.
Last year, former President Muhammadu Buhari signed 16 constitutional amendment bills into law.
Following the negativity residents associated with the name, Kunchi, clerics had advised that the place be considered for a change of name. Subsequently, lawmakers from the state took it upon themselves to actaulise the desire.
The bill as passed has become law following presidential signature.
However, while some residents embraced the change of name, saying that Ghari is a more appropriate representation of their land, others have raised concern about the potential confusion and disruption it would cause.
The decision has sparked various debates. While some residents said it was a step in the right direction, others argued that it did not align with the standard Hausa orthography. However, the majority welcome the development.
A resident of Ghari town, Murtala Sarkin Fulani said, “We thank God for this change. We really appreciate those who contributed to the development. It is really necessary.
“The former name wasn’t right as it signifies bad omen and was really taking us back in everything. There was no progress at all.
“Even the holy prophet has called on us to desist from giving our places or ourselves bad names or names that have bad meanings. We always felt bad when we were called by the name, but now, we are optimistic that progress will find its way here.
“And I pray that we will see changes and progress very soon in this town. We have suffered enough.”
The village head of Ghari, Isiyaku Aminu also said, “The name is affecting us seriously. I can say that it is distancing us from progress. Anything good that is coming our way diverts to somewhere else.”
Daily Trust Saturday observed that barely a week to the change of name, some shops and other business places have already adopted the new name in their addresses. It can be seen written on walls and signposts.
Some business owners had started using the new name even before the official approval to show how they disliked Kunchi.
Daily Trust Saturday reports that residents of the area are majorly farmers of grain and perishable food items.
Audu Chiroma, a historian and representative of the district head of Ghari Local Government Area, Alhaji Aliyu Ado Bayero said, “We are grateful to God almighty for giving us the opportunity to witness this change. It is something we have been advocating; and finally, we have gotten it.
“We hope this would pave way for many progressive gestures and bring more peace and unity among our people.”