With insecurity, northern children no longer ambitious – IBM Haruna

A former chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum and ex- federal commissioner for information and culture, Major-General Ibrahim Bata Malagwi Haruna (retd), has bemoaned the prevailing security challenges in the northern part of the country.

He also said failed leadership systems in the country discouraged youths in the region from assuming leadership responsibility. 

Similarly, the 82-year-old former minister blamed the combination of failures of past military and civilian regimes in Nigeria as reasons for the prevailing security challenges in the north and travails bedevilling Nigeria as a whole.

Fondly called IBM Haruna, the civil war general painted a grim picture of the north, saying “the hopelessness is challenging and calls for objective and patriotic leadership and a change of mind.”

Haruna spoke with reporters weekend in Ilorin, Kwara state capital on the sidelines of golf tournament organised by friends and associates to commemorate the retirement of Appeal Court Judge, Justice Mudasiru Oniyangi.

“Nigeria has not had true military rule neither has it had true democracy. A combination of both military and civilian misrule has brought the country to where we are currently are. If democracy had succeeded, we would not have banditry and insurgency in the north. We would not have unknown gunmen in the east. We will not have public officers conniving to steal N80 billion.

“What we are judging today is the failures and successes combined of previous administrations, but our fear today is that we should not topple the good we have earned and replace it with the one that we don’t know that is coming”, he said. 

On the situation in the north, the retired general said:  “We have created the insecurity we are facing in the north, based on the fact that we have not succeeded in creating those values that will inspire our growing population of poor and disadvantaged people. 

“The hopelessness is challenging and calls for objective and patriotic leadership and a change of mind. We should work for a system we can trust. A system that will be managed by people we can trust; a system that will enable us to trust one another because a better and united country starts with the people.

“Our children in the north don’t seem to be ambitious. It is disappointing because 60 years ago or thereabouts, we had leaders who had ambition; leaders who wanted to free us through nationalism, from colonialism. But we did not seem to have pursued some positive policies that will get us together as having common objectives and values.”