Former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
Four former leaders, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Generals Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are among other top northern leaders, who are to converge on Kano next week to brainstorm on the way forward for the northern region.
Though the meeting may not be unconnected with the build up to the 2015 elections, sources close to the organisers, however, said the leaders are meeting to proffer solutions to the myriad of problems facing the nation, especially the northern region.
It was also gathered that the meeting, which is at the instance of elders from the region under the aegis of Northern Development Forum Initiative (NDFI), is expected to run for three days to proffer solutions to the region’s problems.
Chairman of the Forum and former Governor of the defunct North-western state, Alhaji Usman Faruk, while speaking in Kano Tuesday on a private radio station, Freedom Radio’s morning talk show “Barka-Da-Hantsi”, said it was high time for all the problems of the region are addressed because they have for long been enumerated at various fora.
Faruk said: “What we want now is the implementation of the solutions needed to all these problems now if don’t want things to go out of hand. This time around it is not the usual way of lamenting about our problems; rather we want a practical implementation of solutions that would be proffered by the summit.”
He stated that though their resolutions would be presented to the president for ratification, the same document would also be presented to the 19 northern governors and members of the national and states assemblies for speedy implementation by both the federal and state governments.
“Things are so bad with the North that is why at this age we are coming out to suggest on the way forward because if we allow things to continue the way they are gong it will consume all of us young and old. Politics shouldn’t be the paramount thing for the moment, he said, adding, the region is seriously at the brink let us all come together to salvage it,” he explained.
While the president and the state governors remained the highest authorities to act on any resolution in the land they would, however, mount all the necessary pressure on the m so as to act on the resolutions from the upcoming summit.
He lamented that the country in a serious shambles but politicians don’t seem to value the serious situation that pervades the land.
The summit invites all the former presidents, vice-presidents, Heads of State, governors, ministers, parliamentarians, university dons, retired military and police officers, religious leaders and a host of others.
He further hinted that despite the fact that NDFI was not a political group, its resolutions, notwithstanding, would be purely about issues relating to the survival of the north and the country.