Group Accuses Ex-SGF Lawal Of Manipulating Poor Northerners

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The Coalition of Northern Groups on Tuesday responded to former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, that the region had been fragmented along ethnic and religious lines.

Arewa PUNCH recalls that the former SGF in a recent BBC Hausa Service interview had stated that the North has been fragmented along ethnic and religious lines, noting that there were no credible elders in the region, as of today, to rally northerners together like in the past.

While acknowledging the ex-SGF’s assertions, the spokesman of the CNGs, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in an exclusive chat with Arewa PUNCH, said the region was indeed fragmented as a result of inept leadership bequeathed the north in recent years.

Suleiman explained that the current leaders of the north deliberately manipulate the common man to remain shackled in the poverty-stricken region along ethnic and religious divides for the mere purpose of elections and nothing more.

Sulaiman threw a jab at the likes of Babachir Lawal, whom he claimed would rather prefer to leave the region in its precarious situation for their own selfish interest.

He recalled that the North in the past had been a united front despite glaring oppositions against its leadership who “always championed the cause of defending northerners’ rights to ensure their equal status within the nation.”

Regrettably, he noted that subsequent leaders made costly mistakes and miscalculations, leading to disunity and disharmony among Northern communities.

According to the CNGs’ spokesman, the rise of identity politics and the politicisation of religion exacerbated divisions within the region, with ethnic and religious affiliations increasingly shaping political alliances.

He expressed concern over what he described as a leadership vacuum in the North regarding the absence of influential elders to bring northerners together, noting that elders played a crucial role in mediating conflicts, fostering unity, and providing guidance to the younger generation.

Suleiman observed that the region as it stands today “has lost the wisdom and leadership of great patriots such as the late Danmasamin Kano, Alhaji Dr Yusuf Maitama Sule, who dedicated their lives to the interests of the people of Northern Nigeria and the nation as a whole.”

He stressed that only the North could solve its own problems but noted that not all the leaders were committed to that cause.

According to him, “Many of the current crop of Northern leaders of today, including the former SGF, will prefer to leave the bulk of the region impoverished for easy manipulation during elections.

However, he insisted that  “with the right political will and quality of leadership, the North can stop the Tiv and Jukun conflicts. It can bring lasting peace to Plateau and find solutions for the Fulani and their cattle.

“The North can stop millions of its children living wretched lives in the search for education and wasting the greatest asset of the region, which is its human capital.

“Only the North can solve its problems, but as should be obvious by now, not all Northern leaders are committed enough to work to solve the region’s basic socio-cultural problems, its regressing economy or address its precarious future.

“Many of its leaders today, including of course, Babachir Lawal himself, will prefer to leave the bulk of Northerners impoverished, fighting each other so that they can continue to manipulate them during elections without showing real commitment to reducing youth unemployment, insecurity, and poverty,” Sulaiman concluded.


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