The spokesman of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi has said that the north has so far been short-changed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Professor Abdullahi who was guest of Kaduna-based Liberty Radio Hausa programme, ‘’Bakon mu na mako’’ on Sunday noted that the north is not properly represented in the appointment of Ministers and in the distribution of capital projects in the 2016 budget.
According to him, the north voted for Buhari irrespective of party affiliations and not necessarily for the All Progressives Congress (APC), because the Jonathan administration reneged on the power shift arrangement which brought President Olusegun Obasanjo to power in 1999.
‘’Buhari has been contesting election in the last 12 years. He contested on the platform of ANPP, contested again on the platform of CPC in 2011. In 2015, the north rallied round him because it was aggrieved over the decision of PDP to field Jonathan in spite of the obvious constitutional breach that another four year term for him would have imposed on the country.
‘’So, given the fact that northerners had resolved that power should shift to the north in 2015 and Buhari’s past record and personal integrity, the north rallied round in his support irrespective of party or religious affiliations,’’ Professor Abdullahi stated.
The NEF spokesman said that the north was not given positions in the Federal Executive Council that are commensurate with its voting strength. He pointed out that the Ministries that have direct bearing on the economy, are not in the hands of northerners, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture is the only exception.
Professor Abdullahi further said that the north only got 30% out of the capital projects that have been earmarked in the 2016 appropriation bill, adding that the North East, North West and North Central got 3%, 9% and 19% respectively.
‘’Imagine, the north east which was ravaged by Boko Haram only got 3%. In terms of recurrent expenditure which is mainly paying salaries and servicing the day-to-day running of government, the north is also short changed because as at 10 years ago, 0nly 18% of federal civil servants are northerners,’’ he said.
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