Nigeria must exist on basis of equality — Northern leaders

Nigeria must exist on basis of equality — Northern leaders…Reject notion that North depends on the South


…It’s a silly notion, agric sustains Nigeria — Ango Abdullahi


…Debate can have an effect on Nigeria’s unity — John Hayab


…South shouldn’t inflame our fault strains, we produce bulk of the meals — Sani


…North by no means depending on South! — Mamman Dan Musa

By Ibrahim Hassan Wuyo, Andy Asemota, Umar Yusuf & Femi Bolaji

NORTHERN political and opinion leaders have strongly faulted the suggestion that the North owes its continued existence to the South given the perceived complete dependence of Northerners on Southerners for survival.

They dismissed as untenable the argument in some quarters that the strident opposition to requires the restructuring of Nigeria by Northern leaders was knowledgeable by the realisation that the North can not do with out the sources of the South which stay the financial mainstay of the nation.

Prominent Northern leaders interviewed by Arewa Voice posited that Nigeria as a federal state should subsist on the idea of equal existence.

It can be recalled that Professor Ango Abdullahi, chief of the Northern Elders Forum, had in an interview described as “stupidity” the notion that the Northern area depends on the South for its survival. The former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu  Bello University, ABU, Zaria, had stated that though a lot of the overseas alternate got here from the sale of oil, agriculture, majorly accomplished within the North, nonetheless remained the sustainer of the nation.

Stupid notion — Ango Abdullahi

He stated: “No, no, no! That is stupidity as a result of up up to now as I converse to you, it’s the North that’s sustaining this nation as a result of agriculture continues to be the sustainer of this nation. Agriculture contributes …at the least 45 % (of GDP) as I converse to you now, whereas oil contributes about 13 %.

“So if you’re speaking about overseas alternate, cash that’s earned from exterior, a lot of the overseas alternate comes from the sale of crude oil however the social cloth of Nigeria is sustained by agriculture as I converse to you now.

“So it is sheer stupidity or ignorance, as it were, for people to think that the North is parasitic to the Nigerian state. In fact, it is the state that is today parasitic to the North because without the effort of the peasant farmer in the North, the crisis in Nigeria would have probably taken us to the level of disintegration at this particular point in time.”

Don’t inflame fault strains — Sani

For Anthony Sani, quick previous Secretary-General of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and one time National Publicity Secretary of the discussion board: “When some individuals posit that the North is determined by the South, I see that as inflaming our fault strains, and surprise the idea and the knowledge of such place. I don’t share such views. This is as a result of we’re anticipated to reside a symbiotic livelihood.

“Analysis of distribution of entry to nationwide sources by the use of tasks, appointments, employment and main contracts would hardly keep away from the conclusion that distribution of entry to nationwide sources are skewed in opposition to the North. For instance, go to any of the federal universities within the North and see how the lecturers and staff are largely from the South.

“Because of poor degree of schooling, most Northerners are farmers, and in reality, produce the majority of the meals and meat for the nation, whereas Southerners who’ve the sting in schooling have extra entry to the nationwide sources than their Northern counterparts. The oil wealth which isn’t on account of exhausting work accounts for a lot of the nation’s overseas alternate wanted for importation of products and companies which might be undertaken largely by the Southerners who’re the importers.

“Also, the 13 per cent derivation to ameliorate the effects of environmental degradation makes it possible for one oil-producing state to cart home what a whole non oil-producing geopolitical zone collects from the federation account. And when you consider the fact that even though oil has been producing most of the revenues for running of governments, its contribution to GDP is less than that by agriculture mostly undertaken by the North”.

Sani who was additionally the spokesman of Northern delegates within the 2014 Confab, defined that: “Nigerians should know that nation building is a continuous process, and the fact that in the history of nations, the powerful and the powerless, the rich and the poor, often change places. Jericho did not last forever.”

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Sani, presently a member of the governing council of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation and a member of Northern Media Forum, additionally stated: “So Nigerians come together and unleash their synergistic potential against collective challenges for larger interest. Mechanism of community living should not be zero-sum game where winners take all. I say this because it is possible for the nation to make the most of the differences with respect and dignity by working hard to overcome what divides the people. No nation thrives through victory of its faction but by ultimate reconciliation.”

Unholy debate — Hayab

On his personal half, Rev John Joseph Hayab, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Kaduna State stated that the supply of the Nigerian Constitution and the present follow in Nigeria don’t give a area the facility to say the opposite area was relying on her. He informed Arewa Voice that “economically, all of us get our funds from the federal allocation, though another areas get some extra proportion of the derivation from the federal allocation, however it’s from the identical supply and on the identical day.

“Every a part of Nigeria has one thing she brings to the desk for others to profit. The areas might not convey an equal quantity to the central treasury however that’s the reason we’re a federation. Discussing if the North was depending on the South for survival if not accomplished from a mature thoughts, rigorously, can solely add to the unholy debates which have served to destroy our unity as a nation.

Selfish regional champions

“Some questions that will beg for solutions will embody: earlier than Nigeria discovered oil, what was Nigeria’s supply of revenue? Has the North or different areas ever contributed to the nationwide financial system and are they nonetheless contributing to the nationwide financial system? Mishandling of such a topic by many egocentric regional champions has made them use it to create pointless pressure of their area about who owns this nation and who’s feeding who.

“The easy reply right here is that ‘sure the North just isn’t depending on the South and as a unit on this federation, the North is contributing energy provide, meals, by agriculture, and most significantly her human sources which is the best energy for the survival of our nationwide property and the steadiness of our financial system.

“Accordingly, our federal system supports and allows rich people to build factories and industries in every part of this country. Rich Northerners have factories everywhere, giving citizens job opportunities without sectional biases and that builds and sustains the economy.”

Hayab stated given the above factors, “no part of the federation should be seen as being dependent on the other, instead, citizens should see themselves as people with equal rights and opportunities, building a verile and endurable nation”.

Second Republic Deputy Senate President and a founding member of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Senator Mamman Dan Musa, additionally lambasted these proposing or supporting the notion that the North can’t survive if Nigeria is restructured. The elder statesman and veteran lawyer declared that opposite to the assumption that the North depends on the South, the North is equally endowed because the South. Dan Musa stated: “For us, really it is nonsense for anybody to think that the North can’t survive without the oil (from in the South). No! It’s false; there are so many things in favour of the North. It’s only a question of responsible leadership but we have so many things that if we are focused, hardworking and have visionary leadership, certainly it will not be a question of dependence. No! They should know that we have resources, we have land; we have so many things in our favour.”

‘North, South depend on each other’

In his response, former Executive Secretary, Petroleum Tax Development Fund, PTDF, Dr. Muttaqa Rabe Darma, stated that no explicit area, society and even particular person is an island unto itself that it could actually survive by itself and never work together with others. “The North and South are interconnected, interdependent on one another; but on the other hand, if you’re talking about if there is no South, for example, the North cannot survive, then I will tell you no; it’s capital NO!” he additional defined.

There’s symbiotic relationship — Abu

Chief Joshua Abu, an elder statesman and former Executive Director with the National Orientation Agency, NOA, in Abuja stated the connection between the North and South when it comes to sources is symbiotic. He said that in the beginning, it’s even flawed to generalise all the South as there are South-East, South-West and the South-South that produces the oil.

“If the South-South is claiming the North is a parasite on the region, that region should ask itself what were the sources of Nigeria’s revenue before the discovery of oil at Oloibiri in the present Bayelsa State in 1965? What was the significance of oil before its discovery and exploration by the Shell Oil? What revenue did Nigeria use to fund oil exploration?” Chief Abu quipped.

He defined that earlier than the invention of oil, groundnut, hides and pores and skin, cotton, amongst different merchandise, have been the main income earners for the nation. While stressing that oil discovery and exploration has been the main bane of Nigeria’s under- growth Abu maintained that every one the areas of the nation complement one another in phrases sources.

‘It’s derogatory to name North parasite’

Another respondent, Dr. Stephen Manza, the Catholic Bishop of Yola opined that to say the North is a parasite on the South is kind of derogatory as Nigeria is made-up of states and areas and all of the sources belong to all. He stated areas or states can not have equal endowment of sources, however that it’s left for the leaders to make sure that the sources are harnessed for the advantage of all.

Mamza, who doubles because the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN Adamawa State Chapter, was fast so as to add that what the North is getting from the South is commensurate with what goes out of the North to the area. “So, if you are talking of parasites, both regions are parasites of each other”.

‘Develop agric and wipe away the notion’

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Taraba State, Andeta’rang Irammae stated: “There are a number of arguments concerning the distribution of nationwide wealth, and I’m positive the South-South is a part of Nigeria. Before the invention of oil, the nation had relied on a number of nationwide endowments from completely different elements of the nation.

“The South-West had cocoa and the North had groundnut, however the discovery of crude oil within the South-South has additional diversified our financial system, although these financial sources from different elements of the nation weren’t giving us as a lot as what we bought from crude oil when it was found. However, the sentiment of the South-South just isn’t misplaced as a result of the event of that space just isn’t proportionate to what’s being extracted from there.

“In a perfect society and financial system, they have been purported to be given sure consideration over and above different elements. Besides, our relationship economically is meant to be symbiotic, and never parasitic. This we are able to do by making different sectors of the financial system extra viable than they’re as we speak in order that the person within the South-South shouldn’t have that sentiment that it’s only his space that’s being exploited, and the North and South-West are solely feeding on the sources as a result of that’s the impression now.

“But, if we give attention to agriculture and proper exploitation of other natural resources, that sentiment won’t be peddled.”

Vanguard

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Nigeria must exist on basis of equality — Northern leaders

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