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Northern Nigeria gradually destroying itself, warns Emir Sanusi

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….says quota system favouring the region has sunset clause
A foremost traditional ruler in the country has  raised the alarm that North is on the precipice except they address the myriad of challenges confronting them.

He listed the problems facing the region as poverty, millions of out-of-school children, malnutrition, drug abuse, Almajiri, and the  Boko Haram insurgency.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, who sounded the warning, said no  “true  Northern Nigeria leader” was happy with the situation in the North.
PerSecondNews recalls that the World Bank had last week released a  report that 87 percent of the poor in the country reside in the North.
The Bank also described the North-West as home to almost half of all the poor in the country.
Sanusi, ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said:”If the North does not change, the North will destroy itself.
“The North should stop relying on a quota system and federal character.
“The region should not continue to rely on a quota system and federal character to get jobs for its children at the expense of the other parts of the country busy educating their own children and turning out graduates.
“Just last week, someone asked me, ‘ are you happy?’  And I said,  ‘ I am not’. And the person was surprised. The truth is, nobody who is a leader in Northern Nigeria today can afford to be happy.

“You cannot be happy with about 87 percent of poverty in Nigeria being in the North. You can’t be happy with millions of northern children out of school.

“You can’t be happy with nine states in the North contributing almost 50 percent of the entire malnutrition burden in the country.”
Sanusi spoke at the 60th birthday of  Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna.
Calling for a quick fix, he said the challenges facing the region must be addressed immediately.

He said El-Rufai ‘s investment in education would go a long way in addressing poverty in the state, pointing out “investing in education is the only way the region will save itself from imminent destruction.

He lamented that 87 percent of the country’s poverty rate was in the North, with nine states in the zone constituting almost 50 percent of the malnutrition burden of Nigeria.
 “When we talk about birthday, we talk about happiness.

“You can’t be happy with the drug problem, you can’t be happy with the Boko Haram problem.
“You can’t be happy with political thuggery. You can’t be happy with all the issues; the Almajiri problem that we have.

“So, we wish Nasir a happy birthday, but we do not want him to be happy as a leader. Because you are happy when you think you have reached a state of delivering and taking your people to where you want them to be.

“Now, because of the condition of Northern Nigeria, it is almost correct now to say that, if you are seen as normal if you are a governor in the North or a leader in the North.
“And you are seen as normal in the sense that you continue to do what your predecessors have been doing, doing the same thing, which has been normalised, then, there is something wrong with you, you are part of the problem.

“The real change in the North will come from those who are considered mad people,  because you look around and say if this is the way we have been doing things and this is where we have ended up, maybe we need to do things differently,” Sanusi said.

On how to bring about a change, the emir suggested:  “If we have populated the government with middle-aged men, maybe we need to try younger people, maybe we need to try women.
“If we have spent our money and time on physical structures,  maybe we need to invest more in the education of our children.
“Maybe we need to invest more in nutrition. Maybe we need to invest more in primary health care.”

Urging political leaders, especially, the regional governors to emulate “the sternly quality” of the  Kaduna State governor, Sanusi commended him for injecting 40 percent of the state’s budget into education.

“And the truth is, if you look at what Nasir is doing in Kaduna, with 40 percent of his budget in education, that is the only thing that is going to save the North.
“I know that, when we say these things, they don’t go down well.

“We have been saying this for 20 to 30 years. If the North does not change, the North will destroy itself. The country is moving on.
“The quota system that everybody talks about must have a sunset clause.”

To the youths, he charged: “We have just heard how he (governor)  has developed himself over the years. He is a surveyor, he is a lawyer, he has got  a master’s degree, he has had over 80 certificates from Havard because education is what makes a man.”

On power, Sanusi noted that power only comes from God and that it is transient, calling on leaders to leave behind legacies.

He stressed: “It is important to realise that the positions we hold are transient and they do not define us.

“Anybody can be called a governor; anybody can be called an emir;  a commissioner or a minister, but at the end of the day, you should know that God had given you a chance to do something, do leave a mark and impact people’s lives.”
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