By Dapo Akinrefon
Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, On Sunday, attributed Nigeria’s socio-economic and political woes on the northern political and socio-cultural leaders’ bias for seeing challenges that are otherwise nationwide through the Hausa-Fulani ethnocentric prism.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo, ARG expressed worry over the assumption that Nigeria is governed only for northern benefit.
The statement read: “Time and again, they have demonstrated this ethnocentrism as their political barometre. The recent outcry by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State is the latest evidence of this hypocritical attitude.
“Some sections of the country have been crying out against the rising wave of violent attacks by armed herdsmen on their people for almost a decade.
“Despite mounting and visible fatalities, the attitude of northern leaders, including those holding sensitive positions in the Federal Government, has been that of denial or conciliation.
“But with recent attacks on some northern states by the herdsmen and bandits, whose influx has been unchecked, Ganduje now desperately wants the Federal Government to put an end to their horrendous activities.
“Recently, the southern part of Nigeria cried out against massive movement of male young bloods of northern extraction into the southern parts of the country, despite restriction on inter-state movements.
“Surprisingly, northern leaders have either been defensive or largely kept mute.
“There has also been outcry against the obscene lopsidedness in the appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Again, no northern leader has seen anything wrong in this, save for the respectable former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (retd) and a few others.
“Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, notes that such ethnocentric display can only fuel separatist movements and to an average Southern Nigerian, the assumption is growing that this country is governed only for the northern benefit.
“Even though it should be clear by now that we are all victims of the inequality of Nigeria’s governance structure, and that whatever advantage anyone may derive from it is only temporal.
“ARG, therefore, advises Nigerians to embrace the noble proposal of restructuring which is the only instrument capable of bringing all the constituent groups in Nigeria together to (re)negotiate how true nationhood can grow out of this wobbling contraption.
“Specifically, ARG enjoins all political and socio-cultural leaders across the country to demand the implementation of the report of the El-Rufai-led committee on restructuring.
“If nothing else does, the rising cases of insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes call for decentralisation of security architecture and make restructuring more compelling.”