By Gbenga Oke
Former Senate President, Chief Iyorchia Ayu, has stated that the current leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will run the nation aground. Ayu, in an interview with Vanguard, maintained that PDP, just like the Nigerian leader-ship, lacks foresight on how to tackle the problems facing the country.
The foundation member of PDP said: “The leadership of the government, not just the President but the entire PDP leadership, is not providing anything for this country. Because of its inaction and its policies, the issues of poverty and future disintegration of Nigeria have increased.”
On the insecurity ravaging the country, he argued that the Nigerian government needs to tackle the menace of poverty before the issue of Boko Haram can be tackled.
Ayu said: “The Boko Haram in the North-East is a product of poverty. Of course, the international situation of terrorism is there. But if that terrorism came in and there was nobody to recruit from, they wouldn’t have grown this rapidly. This is not the first time certain parts of the Islamic North have responded like this in a poor situation. We have seen it in the past during the Shagari era.
“It is almost obvious by the figures released by Bureau of Statistics that the two poorest part of the country are the North-East and North-West zones. Such society will definitely provide fertile ground for recruitment of people who feel hopeless about their lives.” (See interview on Pages 52 & 53)
On the call for Sovereign National Conference, SNC, he said: “I believe the people calling for Sovereign National Conference, SNC, do not represent every Nigerian. There are quite a lot of Nigerians, including myself, who are opposed to it.
“It is basically an aggregation of ethnic nationalities to sit down and discuss whether Nigeria should exist as it is or it should become a confederation or go our separate ways. I do not support aggregation of ethnic nationalities or the restructuring of Nigeria along ethnic nationalities because it is crass ignorance of the ethnic structure of Nigeria.”
He called on the Northern governors to “sit down and address the issue of development in their individual states. Northern leaders need to know they have a responsibility to jump-start development in the North as other zones did. If they do not do that, they will continue to be backward.”