Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) Atiku Abubakar, has clarified his position in a section of the media which quoted him as saying that the North is not prepared for restructuring.
A statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, Monday in Abuja quoted the former Vice President as saying “that restructuring is not just a Northern issue, but is a Nigerian challenge of nationhood that cannot be swept under the carpet by any sincere Nigerian.”
In the statement clarifying reports that Atiku called opponents of restructuring “lazy”, Ibe said the context of arguments by the former Vice President was lost because his opponents were looking for the opportunity to bring him down.
According to Ibe, the Waziri Adamawa couldn’t have called his own people lazy, especially hard working people. Atiku was referring to lazy elites who are resisting restructuring because they perceive political power as a permanent source of economic advantages while the masses are suffering.
“Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian of Northern origin, if he puts down the North, doesn’t he put down himself? His value as a person is irrevocably tied to that of Nigeria and the region that God chose to originate him from.”
The media aide explained that Northern Nigeria is endowed with vast natural and human resources, and therefore, it should not be scared of competition which restructuring entails.
Ibe said that there is no section of Nigeria that does not have abundance of untapped resources that cannot be put into effective and efficient use for development.
Ibe said agriculture and solid minerals are sources of economic power and influence if properly developed, adding that the North should be proud of what it has.
He said as the food basket of Nigeria, the North can develop its agricultural resources into exportable economic advantage.
“It is a historical fact that Northern Nigeria, and more specifically the Kanem Bornu Empire and Southern Nigeria, more specifically the ancient Benin kingdom, are the birthplace of some of the oldest civilizations on earth.
“What does that teach us? It teaches us that the North and the South have a great history which should be a stepping stone to an even greater future.
“Northern Nigeria can learn from other regions just as other regions can learn from Northern Nigeria. Northern and Southern Nigeria are in symbiosis with each other not competition.”
Ibe maintained that the former Vice President could not have called the hard working Northern farmers lazy and that those afraid of restructuring are lazy elites feeding fat on the country’s resources.
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