By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
Islamic scholar cum political activist, Dr. Usman Bugaje, has said there is no reason for Northern Nigeria to remain in poverty and underdevelopment, considering the resources in the region.
He stated this at the official launching of Arewa Movement for Good Governance, (AM2G) and presentation of AM2G Charter and a book titled: “Principles of Leadership Snippets from Islam and Christianity” in Kaduna on Thursday, September 1, 2022.
In his keynote address, Bugaje said the region today is embroiled in conflicts, busy undermining each other.
The scholar called on northerners to go back to the drawing board to reorganize and reorder priorities in order to survive and thrive.
According to him, the North has been sliding into poverty, it’s industries kept shutting down, with low productivity, increasing joblessness, deepening the poverty and rising youth irritability and rebellion.
“We found ourselves on this hot bed of religious and ethnic hostility and now this debilitating insecurity that has turned the whole region desolate.
“It is further worsened by the fact that our pristine values of selflessness, hard-work, honesty, probity and courage are daily being eroded and our society has been literally decomposing.
“Here we are today daily losing our respect and dignity, unable to travel freely, unable to farm, unable to earn a living, under a constant fear of being kidnapped and we and our political leaders have not been able to find a solution,” Bugaje lamented.
The Islamic scholar however, appealed to the region to use it’s instincts of patriotism to build critical citizens capable of driving real and effective social, economic and political transform.
He noted that the main focus of the AM2G Charter was to leverage on unity and also demand good governance from political leaders for the socio-economic development of the region.
He called on all and sundry to realize that the future of the region lies in it’s unity; saying “We must come together to salvage the North. We must create avenues and programmes of dialogue, reconciliation and healing. For only then can we confront our real challenges and succeed. We should also be prepared to work with national institutions to achieve the security and peace needed for development.”
The Co-Executive Director of Interfaith Mediation Centre, (IMC) Dr. James Wuye, urged religious leaders to focus on teaching unity among their adherents.
While noting that leadership is tantamount to faith, he said without faith there would be no future for any nation; pointing out that the numerous challenges bedevilling the region could only be overcome through electing leaders who are capable and ready to confront them.
Also, the National Coordinator, Coalition of Northern Groups, (CNG), Comrade Jamilu Charanchi, urged Nigerians to forget religious and ethnic sentiments and vote for capable candidates who could move the country forward from the present challenges.