October 7, 2022

Northern leaders comprising  serving and former senators, religious leaders, bureaucrats and technocrats, have given  conditions to be met by Presidential candidates of the leading political parties to enjoy their support .
The Leaders stated this in Abuja on  Wednesday  at a 2-Day conference  organized by a pro-northern group, Arewa New Agenda (ANA).
Assessment of candidate to support according to them,   will be based  on commitment and capacity of the person  in addressing  the challenges facing the region.
They also bemoaned the inability of the region’s leaders to set in motion, steps towards addressing the problems facing it.
The Secretary General, AREWA Consultative Forum, Murtala Aliyu, noted that the region must “reinforce its confidence and negotiate with the country’s political leadership to ensure its speedy development.”
This is as he regretted that for long leaders from the north had pursued “narrow and personal interest as against the interest of the people of the area.”
His position was corroborated by the Director, AREWA House, Dr Shuaibu Aliyu, whose submission observed that the region remains the binding force unifying the country.
While regretting that the region had been abandoned for decades, Dr Aliyu pointed out that the area can “comfortably compete with the rest of the world if its agro-sector is developed.”
Senator Ahmad Moallahyidi, Convener of the conference explained that with a land mass of 98.3 million hectares, of which 82 million is arable, the region can feed not just Nigeria, but the entire West African subregion.
“Since more than 2/3 of Nigerian land is in northern Nigeria, it is quite evident that the north holds the key to food security, fight to end hunger and malnutrition and therefore the way to sustained agriculture-led growth to curb hunger.”
Retired Permanent Secretary and Special Adviser on Social Investment to the Plateau State Government, Dr Sumaye Hamza urged leaders of the north to brace up for action rather than the usual rhetorics.

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