Kunle Olajide, Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), has responded to certain comments made by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Punch reports.
Ibrahim Coomassie, Chairman of the ACF, had in a statement said Nigeria will not be able to survive without the North.
Olajide, speaking at the first memorial lecture of Nathaniel Abimbola, a reporter with the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) who passed in 2017, said the North represents all that is wrong with Nigeria. He said:
The newspapers reported the Arewa Consultative Forum as saying that Nigeria cannot survive without the North. Whatever was meant by that statement credited to the ACF chairman remains to be understood.
However, I congratulate him for accepting that the North as it is today represents all that is wrong with Nigeria. The North-East is ravaged by insurgency costing the country billions of dollars annually. The North-West is home to religious crisis, the North-Central is ravaged by herdsmen of northern extraction. Collectively the North is home to all negative indices of the quality of life. Infant mortality rate is highest in the North.
Illiteracy rate is highest in the North and the number of out-of-school children is highest in the North. The poverty index in the North is high while the twin evil bedeviling the North is feudalism and religious fatalism. It will not be out of place to say the North has in fact been dragging Nigeria down since independence. All sorts of mischievous phrases were coined by the very tiny political / military elite of the North to give undue advantage to the North.
Let me assure Alhaji Coomassie that much as we want a fair and egalitarian Nigerian society, it is not at all costs. The rest of Nigeria will survive, flourish and join the league of first world countries within two decades if the North exits. If it desires to leave Nigeria, join me in saying goodbye to the exiting North, I wish them a safe journey into the desert
Photo Credit: Punch