Nigerians have been urged to encourage unity in order to surmount challenges facing the nation and enhance development.
The chairman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF),Yusuf Maitama Sule says with unity the nation is bound to overcome its challenges economically, socially, politically or religiously.
Maitama Sule was speaking when members of the NEF forum visited the Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje in the Government House.
According to him, “various regions can encourage unity within and among themselves for the common good of the entire nation.’’
Reviving the glory of the region
Maitama Sule advised the Northern Governors to unite and restore the past glory of the region by doing what they know best and use it to contribute to the overall unity and development of the country.
He said they came to intimate the governor on the need to revive the old glory of northern Nigeria.
“The forum deemed it right to engage in a tour of the 19 northern states, beginning with Kano, with a view to campaign for the revitalisation of the old glory of the North which was truly united, the North which nobody referred to his tribe or religion, the North which people relate freely in spite of political affiliation,’’ he said.
“If leaders are just , everybody will leave a comfortable life. So, there is need for our leaders to display justice and fair play. There is need for the North to come together in unity” he stressed.
“If you go to Niger up to Zamfara, you will see gold; there is tantalite in Bauchi; there is Uranium in Gombe; there is abundant oil and gas in different parts of the North which are yet to be exploited. The North is endowed with arable land. Any country that cannot feed itself is actually in trouble; but any country that can feed itself has solved half of its problem,’’ the elder statesman explained.
Maitama Sule is a former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations and he served as Nigeria’s Minister of Oil from 1959 to 1966.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje described the visit as very timely and urged the elders to intensify the crusade for the unity of the North and for its return to the old glory.
“One of the problems the North faced and is facing is neglect of agriculture. Due to oil money, people did not take agriculture seriously. Today, oil money is no longer reliable politically and security-wise, so there is need to diversify.
“The North must go back to agriculture. One of the impediments in the sector is inconsistency in policy formulation. This trend does not allow agriculture sector to develop. In order to boost agriculture in the North and the entire country, we have advised the President to ban the importation of tomatoes and rice,”Governor Ganduje said.
He stated that Kano has set the example by establishing an indigenous fertilizer company.