Moghalu Blames Northern Elite, Politicians for Region’s Under-devt

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Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Presidential candidate of Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the 2019 presidential election, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, at the weekend in Kano accused northern elite and politicians from the region of encouraging poverty among the masses for their selfish and political aggrandisement.

Speaking as the guest speaker at the Ra’ayi Initiative for Human Development (RIHD) annual lecture held at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) Conference Hall, Moghalu wondered why the North could hold power at the centre for 42 years and still remains “the headquarters of poverty in Nigeria.”

According to him, the selfishness of the northern political class remains the major cause of poverty and under-development in the region.

He spoke on the topic: ‘Northern Nigeria’s Prosperity in the 21st Century: The Imperative of Social and Economic Transformation’.

The 2019 presidential candidate said solutions for repositioning the North are based on re-setting of the people’s mindset and worldview, insisting that “the problem with the North is the North versus itself.”

Moghalu, however, urged northerners to make human development their priorities, adding that there was a nagging need to fight youth unemployment, drug abuse as well as upgrading the status of women in the region to world standard.

He pointed out that the Almajiri system of education should be supported with Western education, pointing out that there need to increase the enrollment of girls in schools “because if you educate a woman, you have educated a village.

“The North must be modern. Nigeria and the northern Nigeria will not make progress until Nigeria is constitutionally re-structured.”

The economist noted that re-structuring Nigeria along regional line would favour the North, adding that re-structuring will encourage economic development of the regions which would in turn build a more stronger and stable Nigeria.

According to him, Nigeria cannot develop on “feeding bottle federalism,” noting that what Nigeria needs at this point is true federalism that will encourage fiscal independence of the regions.

He called on northern elite to put heads together in revitalising Kano’s industrial prowess as well as making huge investment in mechanised and value-chain agriculture.

Moghalu also charged traditional rulers and religious leaders in the North to play major roles in re-setting the worldview of northerners to tally with development agenda of the 21st century.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion and former Kano State Commissioner for Finance, Prof. Kabiru Isa Dandago, said: “We are here for agenda-setting. The known fact is that in northern Nigeria, all we do is to criticise ourselves and find faults among our leaders. We waste energy in discussing problems of the North without finding solutions to the problems.

“Our leaders don’t take seriously how to harness our natural resources for the development of the North. Our youths are downgraded to hopeless beings. We have not set the ball rolling on how to develop the region. The North should know what we need. We have competent population and adequate natural resources, so we should know what we need as northerners.”

In his welcome address, the Chairman of RIHD, Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu, said the organisation is a group of like-minds passionate for human development through interventions in healthcare delivery, educational support, human rights as well as supporting the socio-economic development of Kano State and the North in general.