The presidential candidate of Young Progressive Party in the 2019 Presidential election, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has accused the northern elite and politicians of encouraging poverty among the masses for selfish and political reasons.
According to Moghalu, the selfishness of the northern political class remains the major cause of poverty and under-development in the region.
While speaking as the guest speaker at the Ra’ayi Initiative for Human Development annual lecture at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital conference hall, Moghalu wondered why the north, despite being in the saddle of leadership for 42 years, regrettably still remained “the headquarters of poverty in Nigeria.”
Moghalu, who was a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria spoke on the topic: ‘Northern Nigeria’s Prosperity in the 21st Century: The Imperative of Social and Economic Transformation.’
He argued that the solutions for repositioning the north were based on re-setting the people’s mindset and worldview, insisting that, “the problem with the north is the north versus itself.
Moghalu, urged northerners to prioritise human development, adding that, there was a nagging need to fight youth unemployment, drug abuse and upgrade the status of women in the region.
He said the almajiri system of education should be backed with western education, pointing out that there was the need to increase the enrollment of women in schools.
“The north must be modern and northern Nigeria will not make progress until Nigeria is constitutionally re-structured,” he added.
He argued that if Nigeria was restructured along the regional line, it would favour the north, just as he expressed confidence that re-structuring would encourage the economic development of the regions, which would, in turn, build stronger and stable Nigeria.
Moghalu said, “Nigeria cannot develop on feeding bottle federalism. What Nigeria needs at this point remains true federalism that will encourage fiscal independence of the regions.”
He called on the northern elite to put heads together in revitalising Kano’s industrial prowess, as well as making a huge investment in mechanised and value-chain agriculture.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and former Kano State Commissioner for Finance, Prof. Kabiru Dandago, said, “We are here for agenda-setting. The known fact is that in northern Nigeria, all we do is to criticise ourselves and finding 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 the need 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 north. We have a vast population, vast natural resources, we should know what we need, as northerners.”
In his welcome address, the Chairman of RIHD, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu, said the organisation was a group of like-minds, who were passionate for human development through interventions in healthcare delivery, educational support, as well as supporting the socio-economic development of Kano State and the north in general.