Jega attributes North’s poverty, 4 others to bad leadership
By Tada JUTHA, Maiiduguri
The former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has attributed insecurity, poverty and unemployment in the North to bad leadership.
According to him, since the 1966 military administration of General Yakubu Gowon (rtd); the leaders are selfish and lacked vision for economic development and growth.
Jega spoke recently at a lecture in honour of Maitama Sule; organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina.
“The major indices of the crises manifested from the Northern part of Nigeria,” he said, stating that whether they are poverty, unemployment and security challenges the leaders have failed to address them for many decades.
Besides, he said that even the out of school children, girl child education along with early marriages; as well as the challenges of maternal mortality have continued to exacerbate poverty, illiteracy and unemployment among youths.
“The economic and health indices are terribly frightening statistics from the north part of the country,” he noted, adding that; “Why is it so in the north and not south; and this is the key question confronting the people and their leaders.”
Continuing, he added: “Today, we remember the Maitama Sule, the Ahmadu Bellos, Isa Katais and many others.
“These were people who led and protected the North and ensured that the North developed in accordance with its ability and their own abilities as leaders.
“While we cherish the memories of what had happened in the past, what kind of leadership have we got from the Northern part of this country?”
“We have so-called leaders who are selfish, who are not selfless, greedy, who have a narrow vision in terms of how this country can develop, not to talk about the region where they come from.
“They really lack intellectual capacity to be classified as leaders.”
While eulogizing Sule; a diplomat and politician, and the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello, he said: “The twin leaders are selfless in serving their people, despite the limited resources at their disposal during their reigns.
He therefore berated other leaders in the region for their cluelessness to economic development and growth, including overcoming the challenges of insecurity.
He lamented that last month, 636 people were killed in the Northwest, including the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency that claims an average of 10 lives a fortnight in Northeast.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari, former military dictators, Sani Abacha, Murtala Mohammed, Ibrahim Babangida, Yakubu Gowon, and even many contemporary northern leaders have in the past been criticized for not doing much to emancipate the poor illiterates masses from North.