In the wake of the release of poverty statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which put Sokoto with 81.2 percent poverty level at the worst poverty level followed by Katsina, Adamawa and Gombe states, the Northern Socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has countered with an argument that the South is more advanced than the North as a result of earlier contact with the West and not by any conscious effort on her part.
This was revealed by National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Anthony Sani who however failed to explain why the North which had had long contact with the East in the form of Arab and Islamic culture did not use that as a spring board to advance over and beyond the South.
Speaking to newsmen Sani said “I do not think the North is blaming anybody but the leadership and the governed of this country for the underdevelopment. What is more, any edge over the North by the South in socio-economic development has more to do with history of the South’s earlier contact with Western education as well as its proximity to seaports than any consciously directed efforts.”
Continuing, Sani further said “the time which this country has been under the watch of leaders from the South is long enough to make a difference in the standard of living across the country.’ When people say the North ruled more than the rest of the country, it makes me angry in the sense that they imply that the president or head of state is expected to be a sectional head and not that of the whole country. Such notion also presupposes that the military heads of state consulted the North before taking over power and on behalf of the North. This is not correct; it is misinformed; misguided.
“A president of this country is expected to regard the whole country as his constituency by presiding over a united nation, and not over a divided people. The president should bring the people of the nation together and not preside over a divided people. The president should bring the people together and enable them live up their collective challenges for not only public good but also for individual benefit.”
The ACF mouthpiece also said “the statistics which shows the North carting home gold medals in misery indices and bringing up the rear in human development index as depressing as they may appear, should be a wake up call on not only northern governors, but also the Federal Government to the reality that a section of the country is being left behind, and that reduction of gaps in incomes among individuals and among groups is not only good politics but also, good economics.
The time which this country has been under the watch of leaders from the South is long enough to make a difference in the standard of lives across the country. Yet, the story is still the same, implying we are all to blame for our woes’’ – Naija pundits.