Stakeholders in northern Nigeria have been urged to embark on a serious search for a viable, sustainable and lasting solution to the political agitations admittedly difficult to resolve but not insurmountable.
Governor of Borno State and chairman, Northern States Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said, “l dare to say to you that unless we are ready to cast aside all sentiment-laden approaches to talking this monstrous problem, it is capable of consuming the very social fabric of the North and even condemning the entire country to unwarranted destruction.”
Speaking through the Katsina State governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, on the occasion of the Forum’s meeting with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and chairmen of council of Emirs/Chiefs on Thursday in Kaduna, Alhaji Kashim Shettima observed, “It requires no knowledge of rocket science to discern that the future prosperity of the North in particular and Nigeria in general squarely rests on agriculture and the human resources and talent we can bring to bear on it.
“We must wear our thinking caps to find immediate and lasting solutions to the deep rooted issues of child destitution thrown up by the Almajiri system, alarmingly fallen standards of the public education system, youth employment and restiveness, drug peddling and abuse, and sectarian violence.”
On restructuring, he said, it was common knowledge that following the recent upsurge in the clamour for restructuring and even secession that the 17 All Progressive Congress, APC, governors in the north have since constituted a committee to handle the issue.
He said, “It is also my expectation that at the end of this meeting today and, God willing, tomorrow’s meeting of the Governors, the forum and our esteemed royal fathers will adopt a consensus position on restructuring of the country that will be reflective of the general overall interest of the people of Northern Nigeria and which will attract popular acceptance.”
Alhaji Kashim Shettima expressed dismay with the way and manner people have resorted to shenanigans, hate speech, and sometimes, unconditionally condemned, stressing that they were inimical to national unity, stability, peaceful coexistence and national security.
He called on all constituted authorities and responsible leaders of thought in the South East and other parts of Nigeria to rise to the occasion to call purveyors of hate speech and inflammatory and provocative statements to order.
Speaking of the problems the country was going through, the chairman said, “We are dealing with a historical fait accompli and we have to figure out how we can manage this in ways, which minimizes the suffering or ways and which guarantees the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
“To do this, we need statesmen to chaperone the art of governance, not politicians; for we need to look at the coming generations, not the coming elections. We need to look far into the future with the utmost sense of responsibility and not cash in on some immediate opportunities. We need to constantly weight the consequences of our words, and actions and avoid playing to the gallery.
“We must constantly be aware of the terrain and times. We have a country that has gone through a civil war, military coups and counter-coups, some of them bloody, prolonged military dictatorship, several false starts as a democracy, insurgency and banditry and a huge youth population whose huge expectations are far from being met.
“These trying times should teach us something: we can’t continue with our old ways of politics, of thinking and of behaving. For our societies are decomposing under several stresses, poverty, drugs, crimes, many of which are symptoms of great moral crises.
“In times of great moral crises, we need exceptional and great moral leadership to remain afloat and rescue our society from the drain. These times should set us thinking.
“We need to task our intellectuals, our political class, our clergy and our traditional leaders to create the necessary synergy to work assiduously to meet targets that will put us back on the path of progress. We can not afford to fail, we have all we need to succeed, all we require now is the political will; the will to change our ways, the will to re-invent our politics, the will to re’engineer our society and focus on the next generation rather than the next elections.”
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