According to him, there’s the backward, uneducated, unhealthy north, and the developing south.
El-Rufai stated this as a wake-up call in Kaduna on Saturday. during a summit the Northern Hibiscus organised for the 19 states across the region.
“We have to speak the truth to ourselves and ask why is it that northern Nigeria has development indicators similar to Afganistan, a country still at war?,” He said.
“We have the largest number of poor people in the world, most of them in northern Nigeria. Nigeria also has the largest number of out-of-school children, virtually all of them in Northern Nigeria.
“Northern Nigeria has become the centre of drug abuse, gender violence, banditry, kidnapping and terrorism. We have also been associated with high divorce rate and breakdown of families. These are the challenges that confront us. This is the naked truth that we have to tell ourselves.
He reminded his audience media reports showing up the northerners as the parasite of the federal economy, even though, he said, that is not entirely true.
“The richest businessman in Nigeria is still Aliko Dangote, not someone from southern Nigeria, thank God for that,” he said, adding that the region should be proud of our culture, tradition, honesty, numbers, youth bulge, as well as unity.
He boasted the EFCC hardly can find someone from northern Nigeria convicted of 419 or being a Yahoo boy.
“In addition, our demographic superiority gives us a very powerful tool to negotiate in politics. And that is something we should be proud of, and we should preserve. So, we have every reason to unite and not be divided.
He challenged the northern youth to secure their future.
“I’m 59 and among the oldest five per cent of the northern population. I shouldn’t even be governor; I should have been governor ten years ago. But ‘na condition make crayfish bend,’ so we are here,’ he said.
He urged the Northern Hibiscus to send recommendations from this summit to the Chairman of northern state governors’ forum so they can do something as a group of 19 governors, not individual state governors,.
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