Group to govs: Accelerate development of North West

The Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development has urged governors of the North West geopolitical zone to accelerate the development of the zone through education, wealth creation and social amenities that will impact the lives of the people.

The Executive Director of the group, Dr Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, in a press release also urged the governors to stop dissipating energy and resources in organising peace and security summits and conferences within and outside Nigeria as they are not the solution to the insecurity confronting the zone.

He said the problems in the zone require political will and pragmatic actions, not empty rhetoric as obtainable in the past 12 years which has not changed the narrative.

“It is on record that the North West geopolitical zone has the largest land mass and also 30% of the total population of Nigeria.

“Ihe zone equally has the highest number of registered voters and produced three democratically elected presidents – Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and General Muhammadu Buhari. It also produced three military heads of state – General Murtala Mohammed, General Muhammadu Buhari and General Sani Abacha.

“North West had the highest number of Inspector Generals of Police – MD Yusuf, Ibrahim Commasie, Hafiz Ringim, MD Abubakar and Suleiman Abba. It produced National Security Advisers – Umar Shinkafi, Samaila Gwarzo and General Ali Mohammed Gusau. Chiefs of Army Staff, Chiefs of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshalls, Air Marshalls and paramilitary officers emerged from the zone.

“The region produced the highest number of Ministers of Defence – General Mohammed Aliyu Gusau, General Bashir Saluhi Magashi, General Mansur Danali, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Hon. Bello Matawalle, the incumbent Minister of State for Defence. North West zone equally has the highest number of states and governors.

“The governors refused to invest in agro-allied industry that would have created jobs for millions of youth. There would be agriculture extension workers who would educate farmers in modern farming techniques, processing and marketing of agricultural produce.

” If governors are committed in food production by providing tractors, harvesters, sprayers, insecticides, pesticides and farmers credit schemes, the region will feed the nation and export some agricultural produce.

“Due to widespread armed banditry, cattle rustling, herders – farmers clashes, kidnapping for ransom, displacement of innocent people from their ancestral homes, millions of small and large scale farmers deserted their farmlands which exacerbated food crisis in the region in particular and the nation in general.

“The Bureau of Statistics recently released data that showed North West geopolitical zone has the highest number of poverty rate in Nigeria. Activities of bandits have brought economic stagnation in the region as people could no longer go about their legitimate business for fear of being kidnapped or killed by bandits. Many who were kidnapped sold their farmlands and houses to pay for ransom demanded by their captors.

“This further impoverished the people. Governors lack the political will to tackle the problem, instead they divert funds for development to use to buy votes during elections and bribe electoral officers to hang on to power,” he said .