Thursday, 19 January 2017

Arewa President, Yerima blasts Buhari for giving juicy appointments to Southerners

President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, has lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari for giving “juicy” portfolios to Southerners at the expense of Northerners.

Yerima, particularly frowned at the decision of the Buhari-led government to appoint former Lagos State Governor, Bababatunde Fashola to head three ministries and ex-Rivers State Governor, who also heads two Ministries.

The AYCF President made the assertion in an attack at Northern leaders over their failure to help rescue people of the region from abject poverty.

He asserted that northern leaders are only good at grabbing power but don’t use it to develop their region.

Yerima said while the North struggle to hold onto power, the southerners enjoy the spoils of office and use it to empower their people, as well as develop their areas.

Speaking with The Sun, Yerima said, “There is this view that the North has ruled Nigeria for so long and has also held juicy positions for so long, and yet the North is said to be the poorest in all human indices of development. The impression is that the North is very backward compared to the South with many saying that their leaders have not used their position to better the lives of their people.

What is your opinion on this?

“This is very true. Overtime, history has shown that the northerners are only good in grabbing power and playing politics but at the end, they do not know what they do with the power, and it is the southerners they appointed that are ultimate beneficiaries of the power, as they use it to empower and encourage their people in their regions. Out of 56 years of independence, the North has been in power for about 38 years, while the Yoruba and few others held on to power for that remaining years.

“Despite all that you can see the level of poverty in the North, the number of uneducated people, obvious lack of development and the poor infrastructure in the North.

“The northerner wants to get power by all means not because he has a programme to benefit his people.

“The Northern brothers who have been there didn’t do anything for their people, and that is why the level of poverty is still very high in the North, and the same thing is going on now.

“We were thinking that it was an opportunity to empower our people but that is not what we are seeing. All the juicy appointments are given to the South; you see one person from the South West holding three juicy portfolios rolled into one, secondly another person from the South South is given two juicy portfolios rolled into one. I’m talking about former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola and also former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amechi. Are there no northerners or other Nigerians who could manage those offices?

“Almost everything is in the South, while our brother is only at the top. Even at that, they could not allow him to rest, as there is confusion from everywhere to distract him so that he doesn’t know what is happening.

“It is only him that is doing the fight against corruption, and corruption is fighting back. With these confusion from everywhere, the tenure may end and there may not be much he achieved.

“If he doesn’t make changes and bring people on board to help him, his case may be worse than that of Jonathan. I’m sorry about that.

“At the end of the day, we have brothers who want to have power without any blueprint on how to help our people to come out of backwardness. Even as we have a brother who is at the top, our level of poverty in the North has multiplied if not tripled. Criminality in the Northern part of the country has taken a high dimension. Kidnapping which was alien to us has become the order of the day.

Armed robbery is another issue, as most people in the North hardly sleep with both eyes closed, but those in the South are sleeping comfortably.

“Could it be the issue with Nigerian leadership, remember that when former President Jonathan returned home on May 29, 2015, he said he thought his people would stone him because he didn’t do anything for them, even the road leading to his house wasn’t done.

“He was able to empower his people who never had anything before. Today, they are well to do. If directly he didn’t do anything to his people, those he empowered can do something for their people. Some of his people who were our contemporaries or our boys are big boys now and doing very well and helping their communities. What happened to our own case?”

Similarly, Yerima lashed out at the current government, saying over 160 million Nigerians have been forced into captivity.

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