Northern Presidency Failed The North

Prof. K. Uthman

I am among the so-called ‘Hausa-Fulani’ extractions from Katsina state. In the current political dispensation, Katsina state is privileged to have produced two presidents; Umaru Musa Yaradua of blessed memory and the current President, Muhammadu Buhari. Additionally, the state produced a Speaker of the National Assembly, at one time who is currently the Governor of the state, Alhaji Bello Masari.

Today, what are the special privileges being enjoyed by Katsina people? Are the infrastructural developments in Katsina state, and the whole north better than those in the southern states? The answer is emphatical NO. Katsina state and indeed the rest of the north has an unsurmountable catalog of insecurities causing sleepiness nights.

Generally, the northern region recorded more presidents and Heads of State than the southern region, but the poverty is more and alarmingly devastating in the north than in the south.

The Statistics of the 2019 Poverty headcount rate of Nigeria indicated the northern states with high percentages compared to the southern states. Katsina recorded 56%, Sokoto, Taraba, and Jigawa all had 87% poverty rates, Adamawa – 75%, Zamfara – 74%, Gombe – 62%, Bauchi – 61%.

However, except for Ebonyi and Enugu states with poverty rates of 79% and 58%, respectively, all the southern states had less than 40% poverty rate. The lowest poverty rate was that of Lagos state with 4.5%. The next state with a low poverty rate was Delta state – 6%, followed by Osun state – 8.5%, Ogun state -9.3%, Oyo state -9.8%, Edo state -12%, and Ondo state – 12.5%.

So, Nigerians must reject tribal presidency, as it will not help the majority of Nigerians except the few political elites who use it to grasp the position of power and means of aggrandizement of our commonwealth.

It helps to produce mediocre political officeholders. Thus, Political office holding to the few political elites has become a tool for self-service rather than the opportunity to serve the nation credibly under tribal leadership. We must choose a good leader with the capability of taking the country out of the woods.

Come 2023, our next president’s children should attend public primary, secondary schools, and universities here in Nigeria. He and his family should not fly out of the country for health challenges, and the same situation should apply to governors, ministers, and members of the National Assembly.

This way, we will be forced to equip our schools and hospitals to international standards. Our next president should invest 20% of his government’s annual budget in education, 10% in agriculture, 10% in health, and 20% in infrastructural development.

May God bless Nigeria?

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