The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, has decried the level of poverty and hunger in the north despite the scramble for power by northern leaders over the years.
The AYCF claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari has done little or nothing for the north, if compared to what his administration has done for the South West and the South South.
The group noted that “Out of 56 years of independence, the North has been in power for about 38 years, while the Yoruba and few others held on to power for the remaining years.
According to its President, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, the AYCF expected that President Buhari’s ascension to power would bring the long awaited empowerment that the northern youths have lacked since the nation gained independence in 1960.
Yerima, in a chat with the The Sun, specifically mentioned the Minister for Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and that of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as the beneficiaries of major and “juicy portfolios” under President Buhari’s administration.
“There is this view that the North has ruled Nigeria for so long and has also held juicy positions for so long, and yet the North is said to be the poorest in all human indices of development. The impression is that the North is very backward compared to the South with many saying that their leaders have not used their position to better the lives of their people. What is your opinion on this?
“This is very true. Overtime, history has shown that the northerners are only good in grabbing power and playing politics but at the end, they do not know what they do with the power, and it is the southerners they appointed that are ultimate beneficiaries of the power, as they use it to empower and encourage their people in their regions. Out of 56 years of independence, the North has been in power for about 38 years, while the Yoruba and few others held on to power for that remaining years.
“Despite all that you can see the level of poverty in the North, the number of uneducated people, obvious lack of development and the poor infrastructure in the North.
“The northerner wants to get power by all means not because he has a programme to benefit his people.
“The Northern brothers who have been there didn’t do anything for their people, and that is why the level of poverty is still very high in the North, and the same thing is going on now.
“We were thinking that it was an opportunity to empower our people but that is not what we are seeing. All the juicy appointments are given to the South; you see one person from the South West holding three juicy portfolios rolled into one, secondly another person from the South South is given two juicy portfolios rolled into one. I’m talking about former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola and also former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amechi. Are there no northerners or other Nigerians who could manage those offices?
“Almost everything is in the South, while our brother is only at the top. Even at that, they could not allow him to rest, as there is confusion from everywhere to distract him so that he doesn’t know what is happening.
“It is only him that is doing the fight against corruption, and corruption is fighting back. With these confusion from everywhere, the tenure may end and there may not be much he achieved.
“If he doesn’t make changes and bring people on board to help him, his case may be worse than that of Jonathan. I’m sorry about that.
“At the end of the day, we have brothers who want to have power without any blueprint on how to help our people to come out of backwardness. Even as we have a brother who is at the top, our level of poverty in the North has multiplied if not tripled. Criminality in the Northern part of the country has taken a high dimension. Kidnapping which was alien to us has become the order of the day. Armed robbery is another issue, as most people in the North hardly sleep with both eyes closed, but those in the South are sleeping comfortably.
“Could it be the issue with Nigerian leadership, remember that when former President Jonathan returned home on May 29, 2015, he said he thought his people would stone him because he didn’t do anything for them, even the road leading to his house wasn’t done
“He was able to empower his people who never had anything before. Today, they are well to do. If directly he didn’t do anything to his people, those he empowered can do something for their people. Some of his people who were our contemporaries or our boys are big boys now and doing very well and helping their communities. What happened to our own case?,” Yerima queried.