ACF 56th Anniversary: Justice Akanbi Accused Northerners…. As Yero, Mark blasts

ACF 56th Anniversary: Justice Akanbi Accused Northerners…. As Yero, Mark blasts

By Alex Uangbaoje

Former President of the court of Appeal,
Honourable Justice Muhammed Mustapha
Adebayo Akanbi yesterday averred that one
reason among several other reasons that has
kept the northern region backward and
drifting from what it used to be is that “some
northerners are now chasing money about in
order to make them politically relevant in the
polity.

He also lamented that in today’s Nigeria,
leaders prefers to be hero worshipped and
venerated by sycophants, stressing that it
was not so during the late Saduana’s time,
adding, “around him were men of honour
and integrity and not greedy and corrupt
persons who prefer to serve selfish ends.”

According to the legal icon who was speaking
in a paper he presented at the 56th
anniversary of the attainment of self-
government of Northern Nigeria organized
by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in
Kaduna, noted that “until the north is able to
produce the likes of Sir Ahmadu Bello and
Mallam Aminu Kano in leadership position
and give their all to the supreme well-being
of the common man,the under privileged of
society and the suffering masses, it may be
difficult to capture the pristine glories of the
past which made every northerner to be
proud of his heritage.”

Justice Akanbi who also spoke on the theme
of the lecture ‘the north and the Nigeria
Federation: Past, Present and future’ noted
that without unity, there cannot be any
progress or any positive achievement, and
appealed “let us work together for the good
of all.

“Let me say that when I surveyed the horizon
and examined the past and present,i feel it is
not too late for us to come together in the
service of God and humanity. The north
cannot and should not contemplate breaking away from Nigeria. There is so
much that binds us together, all we need do
is to ensure that we are not left behind in the
scheme of things.”

Speaking on the political situation in the
country and the north in particular, said the
new crop of leaders unlike the Saduana, the
Awolowo, the Azikiwe and even Aminu Kano
were self centred, avaricious, nepotic and
generally placed self-interest above national
interest.

“The result is that today we have reached a
stage in our nation that tribalism, ethnicity,
religious bigotry, and corruption have
become the hand maiden or tools of trade of
political leaders when canvassing to be
elected into political offices.”

He therefore reminded the gathering that,
“Africa looks up to us for leadership, a strong
Nigeria of which the north is a formidable
plank remains the hope and pride of the
black race. Therefore, let us be up and doing,
so that in the final analysis, we may be
counted among those who made Nigeria nay
Africa great.”

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, told the Northern elites that most of them are not concern about the development of the region adding that northerners that matter in the affairs of the region were evasive on the occasion.

To this end, Yero wondered how the north could progress with its people who have the economic and political muscles keeping away from an arena where their ideas are needed to move the zone forward.

He however, advised leaders of the region to concentrate on either economic or political challenges of the North and solve it once and for all.

A situation  Professor Ango Abdullahi, Secretary, Northern Elders Forum (NEF) in his goodwill message sharply disagreed with saying that North could not afford to separate political development from economic growth.

Also, tongue-lashing the Northern  leaders was the Senate President, David Mark,  who noted that it was a disservice to the late premier of Northern Nigeria and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello for the governors from the region to send Representatives to the occasion.

Senator David Mark was represented by Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi Central senatorial district.

“ACF is in a difficult time, the attendance and representation is too poor,  but if it is a political gathering, it will full to capacity.

“If Sardauna were to be alive today,  these governors and leaders will not send Representatives to this event.

“Something is terribly wrong with the north,  and there are many questions than answers.

“Where are the political leaders of the North, where are the Leaders of political parties. We need to change the way things are done.

“We are not telling ourselves the truth, the north only worshipping money, money and money.

“We cannot keep sweeping things under the carpet, and pretend all things are well.”I have spent 16 years in the National Assembly, I know those northerners who love north”. He said.

Also, in his speech on the occasion, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal said, “It is common in some quarters to discuss how the north appears to be dragging the nation down, and to reel out indices that show how the north is poorer, less educated and less enterprising than the other part of Nigeria. While some of this is true, this is not all that the north is about. The north is much more than the sum of its problems.

“There is another north, a north that is not always visible because of the menacing shadows cast by the pervasive violence and collapse of industries. This is the north that has managed to keep its courage and combative spirit in the face of inhuman odds. This is the north where the people retain their sense of decency, of fairness and of  brotherhood in every situation. This is the north that continues to believe in the unity of Nigeria, the virtues of democracy and the peaceful transition of government in a free and fair election.

“It is always wrong to judge people based on their current challenges. A more reasonable approach will be to look at their antecedents, their past history, their crisis management skills, their potentials for recovery. There is no doubt that before long, the north will overcome its challenges and rise again.

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