By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum-ACF, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmadu Coomassie has opined that Nigeria may be heading towards anarchy or disintegration if the bad governance confronting the country is not addressed.
The Chairman, which is the mouthpiece of Northern Nigeria stated this while chairing a conference on “The North and The Challenge of Leadership” organized by Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation and Arewa Research and Development Project-ARDP in Kaduna on Monday.
Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie who is also the Sardaunan Katsina, Garkuwan Hausa lamented that, corrupt practices have become endemic, bias and a common-place in most appointments, adding that provision of quality education, potable water, efficient health services and power supply have been relegated to the background.
“Corrupt practices by both politicians were very minimal. Things like inflation of contracts or favouritism in the award of contracts were virtually non-existent.
“In short, the Northern Nigeria before January 15th 1966 was a territory that was characterized by visionary leadership and tireless dedication to duty to the community.
“Leaders were known for their integrity, their sincerity and their humility.
“Unless we approach this problem with the seriousness it deserves, we may be heading towards anarchy and eventual disintegration.” Coomassie stated.
He said the conference which is organized to commemorate 52 years anniversary of the senseless massacre of the northern political leaders like Sir Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in an ethnically motivated coup, must be used to seek for way out of political mess the country has found itself.
With a regretful feeling, Alhaji Coomassie said, the era of Sir Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa was a golden period for Nigeria and the Northern region, as they laid foundation and charter the course of the most unprecedented, purposeful and progressive development ever witnessed in the north, despite that they were not degree holders.
In a good will message, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum and former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ango Abdullahi called on the Northerners to stop complaining, saying the destruction taken place in the north today are been created by the northerners from the military and to other forms of services.
This, he affirmed, was because the north got it wrong politically about 50 years ago by then Murtala Muhammad administration who discarded the parliamentary system of government to adopt the presidential system which is the most expensive and corrupt system.
“This Presidential system is too expensive for our democracy. Recently, someone did an analysis that, only the legitimate earning on the National Assembly members per annum can employ and pay 80 per cent of unemployed youths, if the youths are to be paid N90,000 monthly.
“But the problem is that, the beneficiaries of the system will always rise and defend whatever argument you bring up against presidential system of government.
“If care is not taken, thousands of unemployed youths turned out from our universities will one day revolt against the system”, he said.
Professor Ango faulted both the current political leadership in the country and the political system in place, adding that at the moment, there is no democracy, no good leadership in this country.
He was of the opinion that 70% of North problem must be address by the North by the State and the Local Government while 30% would be solved by the Federal Government.
In his keynote address, a University Don at Ahmadu Bello University Zaira, Department of History, Profession Alkasum Abba emphasis that the conduct of free and fair elections in 2015 by the INEC has created a new opportunities for everyone, saying that with the free and fair elections, all that needed to do is to develop a salable, detailed economic programme to move the region and Nigeria forward.
Contributing, the former Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau opined that voter’s education is the way out now the current political swamp the country is facing.
He added that the 36 states governors and the President cannot be held accountable until Nigerians ensure the quality of legislators they elect into offices, saying the status quo of lack of good governance cannot change with a kind of attitude where people don’t care about who their legislators are.