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REPORTER’S DIARY: Inside Abandoned Bauchi Cinema of ‘Smoking and Illicit Sex’

Kobi Cinema, a film house located at the heart of Bauchi Metropolis along the State Low-Cost area, Bauchi State, was a fine place to pass leisure time until insurgency grounded its operation around 2012. Now, it has become an epicentre of illicit sex and smoking.

When WikkiTimes visited the place on April 8, what our reporter saw showed that the building was becoming a cinema of sex and smoking. Cigarette butts and condoms were scattered around decayed toilets in the building.

Residents and shop owners around the abandoned building corroborate what we saw. They said some young people often come into the building to smoke for hours, especially at night. The residents feared they might be hiding weapons in the building.

INSURGENCY FORCED THE CINEMA TO BE CLOSED

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The entrance

Former manager of the company, Sulieman Abdu, told WikkiTimes the company stopped its operation due to insurgency, resulting in low patronage, inability to pay staff and meet up with other responsibilities.

“The cinema has not been functioning for about 10 years or even more. It stopped functioning around 2012 when the country started experiencing bombings in crowded areas,” he explained. “We decided to stop the business due to the raging insecurity then.”

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Abdu added that the introduction of internet further “slowed down” the business, noting that the cost of production was also a challenge.

“We buy gas and other things but because we lack patronage, we can’t pay our bills which include the salary of workers and other responsibilities. So, we decided to close down the place,” he said.

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Speaking further, Abdu added that the structure had been vandalised and valuable items were stolen by unknown persons.

But he said the company had recorded any act of criminality or people using the building to carry out evil acts.

One of the rooms inside the cinema

“The building has been vandalised, in fact, all the equipment, wiring, ceiling, whatever that is valuable in that place, has been stolen,” he revealed. “But so far, we have not recorded any act of criminality in that place or recorded a case of someone using the building, or hiding there.”

“There used to be a security guard there, but due to our inability to keep paying him his salary, we decided to let him go. Mal. Idris has this security group called “DANGA” so we went there and hired a security guard, but as time went on, we couldn’t afford the payment again,” he added.

AN IMPENDING DANGER

Inside the abandoned cinema

A resident who pleaded anonymity expressed fears that the building could possibly be used as a hideout for criminals to commit atrocities.

“If care is not taken, it might become a safe spot for criminals,” he said. “My advice to the government or the owners of this company is that they should either continue with the initial business which the building was built for or it should be converted into a company that will benefit the public.”

Another resident who also spoke in confidence said the abandoned buildings are nothing but a future problem for the area.

“The owners of these buildings have built a place for thieves to commit crimes and anybody you ask will still tell you the same thing I am saying,” he said.

POLICE NOT BOTHERED?

When contacted, Ahmed Mohammed Wakil, spokesman for Bauchi Police Command said the police have nothing to do with the abandoned building turning into a criminal hideout.

Wakil advised our reporter to direct his concerns to engineers.

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