Why we are angry with Buhari, APC - Northern elders

Northern Elders Forum (NEF) have expressed displeasure with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and President Muhammadu Buhari over the deteriorating socio-economic status of the North 

The group also said the northern elders were also not happy that federal allocations, especially in the 2016 budget, allegedly favoured the southern part of the country more than the entire northern region

Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, is very unhappy

Northern Elders Forum (NEF) have expressed displeasure with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and President Muhammadu Buhari over the deteriorating socio-economic status of the North.

Speaking at the Pan-Northern Summit the group lamented about the economic hardship in the region in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

The group also said the northern elders were also not happy that federal allocations, especially in the 2016 budget, allegedly favoured the southern part of the country more than the entire northern region.

The Secretary and spokesman of NEF, Professor Ango Abdullahi, in a pre-summit address had said: “As elders of the region, during the last dispensation we were not silent on some issues bedeviling the region as well as the country. We made our voices heard especially during the campaign period.

Now we also feel it is time we talked for the progress of the region and the entire country. “If the North is shivering, by extension the other regions will catch cold.

Quote me, because we still believe, we can influence events in the North and to an extent the country. “Several issues bordering on security, socio-economic and political issues affecting the country make it imperative for northerners from across the board to come together, examine the situation, reassess the northern position and chart a framework for action that will certainly be a key reference point in future national discourse.” 

In his address to the gathering, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III dwelt on the state of Northern Nigeria, saying that unity of northern Nigeria was non-negotiable if the region must develop and have a common front.

He lamented that the North of today was not the North that the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello left behind, adding that there was ethnic awareness among northerners more than ever before.

“There is more ethnic awareness now than ever before. The question is why the sudden consciousness in ethnicity and religion? I will not attempt to provide answer to this question, but we must therefore strive to re-unite the North. Only then, can we have a common front and build a united and cohesive North,”
he said.

He also decried the poor state of infrastructure in the North, charging northern governors to pay attention to infrastructure, especially roads. “Governors should build roads, instead of using N28bn to build airport.

Common people will feel their impact more on roads than building airport.” Also speaking at the summit, Professor Ango, who was the chairman, organizing committee of the summit, said the situation, which led to the victory of the APC in the North was not about the party but the fact that the North needed a return of leadership of the country from the South.

“With due respect to those of you who are in APC, the APC did not win election here, take it or leave it, it is the resistance groups that mobilised people to really take the election.” 

He charged the APC on how to manage the success that the resistance group gave them, adding “now that you’ve won the election it is up to you to manage success, it is one thing to get success and another thing to manage it.

“And this is the stage we are in now, how to manage success, and this is why this summit was convened for people across the North to come and air their views on what really is the problem. Whether you accept it or not there are problems.”

 Ango explained that the decision to return power was reached after what happened following the death of former president Umaru Yar’Adua, and some Nigerians including northerners conspired to abort the power sharing agreement reached by the PDP.

“When we saw in 2010, having been denied the chance under the rotation agreement for the North to really provide the president after Umaru’s death, automatically we knew there was grand political conspiracy against Northern Nigeria, no question about that,” Professor Ango said.

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