Northern Elders Want Regional Disparities Addressed

The apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed worry over what it termed as widening regional disparities in social demographic factors and called on the federal government to curb them so as to ensure that Nigeria does not become two states in one.

This formed part of the communique issued at the end of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting presided over by the national chairman, Mr. Mike Mamman Osman (SAN) at the headquarters of the forum.

Reading the communique of the meeting, the national publicity secretary, Professor Tukur Muhammad-Baba, who equally signed it, said, “Equally worrisome to NEC is the widening regional disparities in social demographic factors, such as access to education, health public, infrastructure, economic inclusion, political participation, living conditions, etc. Governments must move to curb such disparities so as to ensure that Nigeria does not become two states in one”.

According to the communique, factors that unify, rather than divide citizens along any lines, should attract the attention of all concerned, government and citizens alike.

“As it has severally reiterated in recent public outings, ACF calls for urgent action and definitive attention, by government at all levels, to confront rapid decline in living conditions of citizens. The imposition of new taxes and levies is becoming increasingly too burdensome for ordinary Nigerians. The need for a roll-out of public policy programmes and projects aimed at addressing low purchasing power challenges is clearly indicated.”

The ACF called on citizens to rally around the government and offer prayers for God Almighty’s intervention in the nation’s various tribulations such as will translate into a new, prosperous Nigeria where justice, equity, love, righteousness and hope emerge to replace the current despair and hopelessness.

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Also, to inspire the spirit of needed sacrifices by citizens, ACF NEC called on public officials to shun profligacy and recklessness in spending public funds.

“As always, NEC unequivocally supports Nigeria security agents in their determined efforts to rid the country of criminality, insecurity and instability, and prays that they very soon enough prevail over insurgents, terrorists and bandits,” he said.

On the national front, and specifically as applicable to the Northern states, the ACF noted that the times continue to be tough and challenging for the average citizen who is daily confronted with runaway inflation, unemployment, rapid deterioration in standards of living, added to the incidents of insurgency, terrorism and banditry, etc.

“These problems that have remained dire, acute (or even chronic in some places) in the North in particular. The immediate causes of the problems have been policies put in place by government over the past months, including but not confined to removal of subsidies from the prices of petroleum products, floating of the Naira, and astronomical hike in the cost of poorly supplied electricity, increasing tariffs and taxes against the seemingly insensitive profligacy in spending by public officials, to list a few,” it said

Though it acknowledged the efforts of the federal, state and, to a little extent, local governments have been making efforts to tackle the problems identified above. It, however, stated that public policy response to the problems remains weak and ineffective at best.

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God'swill Ofigo
Nigeria Blogger / Social Media Promoter/ Talent Manager/ Entertainer/ CEO OfyNaija Blog. WhatsApp: 0904709861

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