Where are Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Northern Elders Forum and the Governors of the 19 Northern States Forum?
When a scion of aristocracy lends his weight to the struggle against wicked injustice against the huge masses of the poverty stricken, oppressed and dispossessed, hope is kindled.
This hope was unleashed in a speech given recently at the 1st Chibok Girls Annual Lecture, by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, who is also a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. This speech follows a prior one in which the emir had declared that the “North-East and North-West of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country.” This attracted vicious personal attacks and vilification of the emir. But truth is bitter, yet constant.
Below are excerpts of the Chibok speech in which he bares dark closets of man’s wickedness to man with hard statistics, stark and stinking.
It makes one wonder what the fire-breathing Northern elites and groups like Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Northern Elders Forum and Governors of the 19 Northern states, do for their peoples. They forcefully articulate hold over political power and stoutly argue that they own the Niger Delta, its crude oil and multi billion petrodollars accruing therefrom.
They battle for more and more federal allocations from that legalised rogue contraption called the Federation Account. They grab high political offices. They line their personal pockets with plum deals and oil wells and contracts. But with hearts, hardened, they subject the great majority of their peoples to abject penury and easily manipulatable ignorance. It is sad. One is inclined to weep.
Read the excerpts, cry and be enraged:
“The South-West of Nigeria has less than 20 percent of its population living in poverty, while the North-West has more that 80 percent of its population living in poverty. In the North-East, the figure is 76.8 percent. Over 90 percent of the people in Yobe and Zamfara states are living in poverty, compared to 8.5 percent in Lagos and around 11 percent in Osun and Anambra states.
“According to published research:
“1. Over 70.8 percent of women in the North-West are unable to read and write, compared to 9.7 percent in the South-East zone;
“2. More than two-third of 15 to 19 year old girls in the North are unable read a single sentence, compared to less than 10 percent in the South;
“3. In eight Northern states, over 80 percent of the women are unable to read and write;
“4. Only four percent of females complete secondary schools in Northern Nigeria;
“5. 78 percent of adolescent girls are in marriages in the North-West, 68 percent in the North-East and 35 percent in the North-Central. These numbers clearly mirror the poorest regions in the country. The statistics in the other zones are 18 percent in the South-South, 17 percent in the South-West and 10 percent in the South-East.
“6. Apart from the huge loss of productivity and incomes caused by the lack of focus on education, especially for girls, adolescent marriages have led to serious social and health outcomes. One Nigerian woman dies in childbirth every 10 minutes. The North-East zone has a maternal mortality rate of over 1,500 per 100,000. This is more than five times the global average. I can go on and on.
“These statistics are not flattering. And they speak to a truth that is inconvenient to most of us. But the culture of silence must end. We have a problem. In fact we have an existential crisis. And all of us in this country – politicians, intellectuals, Emirs and traditional rulers, religious leaders, businesses, NGOS – have to come together to solve this problem. The real patriots in the North are those who are honest enough to accept this reality and insist on change.
“The statistics that are provided therefore represent the tragedy in the lives of real human beings. This problem is most severe in the North-West and North-East but the North-Central zone also fares worse that the three zones in the South.
“The point I seek to stress is that BBOG needs to transform itself from a group defined by the narrow focus on an incident, to one that addresses the broader social reality of African women, and particularly women in Nigeria, especially the North.”
Again I ask: Where are Professor Ango Abdullahi, the Northern Elders Forum and the Governors of the 19 Northern States Forum? Are these folks running on blood or toxic iced water? They ruin their people and join the greedy elites of Southern Nigeria to kill this nation.