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Path to northern states’ rebirth, by Buhari, govs

THOUGH the northern part of the country is currently weighed down by a myriad of problems including those in the educational and security sectors, it could be developed if some measures are urgently put in place.

This was the position of former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and other leaders of the northern region Thursday.

Buhari, presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) at the 2011 election spoke as the chairman of a three-day summit organised by the Northern Development Focus Initiative, on “Strategy for a Constructive Engagement to Save the Collapsing Northern Economy/Socio-Political & Educational Standard: A Multi-Sectoral/Institutional Approach”, held at Kano Government House, Kano.

The summit was organized to seriously look into the many problems facing the northern part of the country.

Buhari urged the northern elite to always understand that the problems of the youth were also those affecting all of them. He said that the north must stand and face its responsibilities.

He called those in authority to always make sure that the public interest is always considered in the discharge of their duties.

Buhari regretted that quality education had eluded Nigeria as a nation. He said that as long as there were no good policies governing the educational system in the country, there was no way quality education could be achieved. He therefore called on government’s institutions, at all levels, that oversee education, to develop the sector. He cautioned that if this was not done, underdevelopment would continue to haunt the nation.

According to Buhari, Nigeria has all the potentialities to be a great nation, but unfortunately people are not ready to evolve seriously planned programmes to assist the development of the nation. He called on all states of the federation to always be focused and patriotic, so as to have peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

In his address the Governor of Kano State, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, called on the Federal Government to constitute a commission that would look into the issues of agriculture, drought and education in the northern state. He commended the organisers for executing the programme that was aimed at looking at the multi-faceted problems of the North.

Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Musa Ibeto, observed: “We are probably taking much time lamenting problems facing us, instead of us to come up with concrete actions to proffer solutions facing us.”

He also commended the organizers of the summit, adding that the focus of the northern leaders should be on the educational development of the north. He further called on northern leaders to find innovative ways of addressing issues causing the lingering under-development of the region.

The governor advised that the North should leverage on the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government, by coming up with programmes that could help the northern states.

Fighting corruption, according to the governor, should also be at the forefront for the betterment of the states in particular and the nation in general. He said that the unity of Nigeria could not be jeopardized.

The chairman of the Northern Development Focus Initiative, Alhaji Usman Faruk, urged the Federal Government to constitute a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of insecurity in the region and bring all the culprits to book.

Faruk called on the Federal Government to institute a reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration commission for the North, that would take lead in addressing problems affecting the northern states. According to the chairman, 70 per cent of the northern children are illiterate.

He charged the government to initiate compulsory primary and secondary education in the north. He said that the problem of insecurity started in the north in the 90s. He charged the participants to always tell the truth for themselves.

The chairman criticised President Goodluck Jonathan and his deputy, Namadi Sambo, for their failure to visit Borno, Yobe and Plateau, where insecurity had ravaged the areas. He therefore called on the northern governors to immediately pay a sympathy visit to the crisis-torn states of the North such as Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Bauchi, Kano, Gombe and Adamawa.

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