Mohammed Sanusi Lamido II, the Emir of Kano, has challenged leaders to stand up, initiate and force changes that will better the lives of the common man and stop living in a system that keeps them permanently backward in all aspect of human endeavour.
According to Independent report, Emir speaking at the Convocation Lecture for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th combined Convocation ceremony of the Gombe State University (GSU) stressed that ignorance and poverty must be addressed before making any headway.
He pointed out that one attitude the north needs to change is its perception or the poor attitude towards education.
After giving statistical data based on UN agencies and the National Bureau of Statistics on the North’s backwardness, especially the North-East and North-West, where the largest population of the country resides and where there is also the largest concentration of Muslims,
The Emir stated that the northeast and northwest region was backward in the areas of having the highest maternal, infant mortality rate, under-five deaths, lack of access to modern education employment among many others.
However, he regretted that it is the system that has kept the region from attaining its full potential despite having large land mass, highest number of people and most divers, having abundant resources especially in agric.
“What led to the start of the project in Kano? We cannot have economic growth until we move into the grassroots and deal with the issues. Take the Northern Nigeria, 70 Percent of Nigeria’s landmass, highest number of people, grossly endowed with abundant natural resources, most diverse in many aspects but the poorest part of the world.”
“In terms of lack of having access to modern education, employment, access to road networks, the region is lagging behind. These are numbers that we have and we can go on and on.
“The number of adolescent girls given into early marriage, you will discover that the North-East and the North-West have the highest negative indices, and we are far, far behind the rest of the world.
“One out of six out of school children in the world is in Nigeria and 70 percent could be from the north. Now, we cannot continue to be talking about marginalisation when we need to address these issues,” he said.