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Buhari And Imperative Of Agenda For The North

There is a huge sense in which an agenda for the north under Buhari presidency has now become an urgent imperative. Two events in the last 48 hours provide vivid justification for this imperative in the overall interest of the country.



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lawmaker lauds buhari for judicial autonomy urges bigger education votes

A picture showing Katsina State Governor AminuMasariin negotiation mission with a bandit displaying a sophisticated gun should be as instructive as the news of the interception by Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences of a truck laden with no fewer than forty motorcycles and over a hundred men coming into Lagos from parts of the north.

We should all feel a sense of outrage about the deepening misery breeding internal displaced persons from the north on a daily basis. The future of our dear country can only look pretty scary with picturesque of desolation from a section of the country! Those who seek to equate dimension of insecurity in the north with Niger Delta militancy are so entitled to live in perpetual denial.

The truth however remains that the north is under a siege and must be saved from the precipice in the interest of collective Nigerian stakeholders.Therefore, an agenda that strict-sensu addresses the precipitous milieu in the north should not be seen as politics of exclusion but rather a political imperative that must be encouraged.

In view of the grinding challenge of insecurity and attendant social dislocations foisted byhydra-headedcrises of BokoHaram and banditry, such agenda should not be considered outrageous or perceived as politically incorrect or unsuitable.

In other words, there is a sense in which the proposed agenda; properly conceived approximates a pan Nigeria agenda! If there was a deliberate intervention in the crises of Niger Delta which brought desired relief, an agenda aimed at holistic intervention in the peculiar crises in which the north has found itself should be a welcome development. In other words, an agenda for the north in this respect becomes a national agenda; if we really care about dealing with fundamental issues bedevilling the polity.

And it all depends on how we look at the issues and what we make of the objectives and goals of such agenda. Unfortunately, there appears to be deliberately attempt to shy away from the real solutions demanded by the mounting challenge by those who, for instance, conceive introduction of RUGAacross the country as immediate and ultimate answer. The concern therefore should be as to the content of this agenda and in whose interest in the immediate and long terms.

Of course, there are posers to ponder in appreciating the need for an agenda beyond cosmetics of politics. Such posers may include possible fears regardingimperative of the agendaand to what extent such an agenda hurt or benefit the rest of the country. 

Whichever way we look at it, we would most probably come to an agreement, at the end, that there is really no big deal about an agenda provided such would address and advance pro-people and developmental ideals that would have trickle-down effects on politics and stability of the nation as a whole. 

It is therefore important to posit that it would be in the overall interest of the nation if the proposed agenda for the north in the sense of the prevailing scenario becomes a cardinal objective of Buhari’s next level administration.

We are not proposing here an agenda that essentially serves the immediate interest of the political oligarchy and class of briefcase contractors to the exclusion of overwhelming neglected populace. Rather, the concern should be a carefully enunciated agenda whose goal is targeted at the downtrodden towards repositioning the society for inclusive governance,peace and stability.

That the country has so far pretended to be surviving bitter power politics amongst the tiny clique of the elite cannot be a guarantee that the political future of the country is assured with prevailing divisive politics and attendant negative consequences. More than ever, the challenge ahead would require a deeper commitment torestructuring of the polity in such a way that governance is ultimately freed from nebulous and relevance-seeking politics of sectionalism and personal survival.

Unfortunately, President Buhari is not an enthusiast of structural reengineering beyond his quest to preside over a federal arrangement that is inherently skewed. But the challenge presently is not precisely about Buhari and the grinding failings of his presidency. The need to save the north should be of interest to all who genuinely care for the future of one united and prosperous Nigeria.

The “acid rain” seems to be here and palpable more than ever and we would be asking for too much from a President whose body-languagedoes not signposts healing from the ills of primordial politics. Nevertheless, President Buhari owes Nigeria the duty of stemming the dangerous tide of neglect and poverty in north. It was much of relieve when the presidency recently announced plans to outlaw the Almajiris practice in the north.

The President needs the support of Nigerians to change the ugly narrative of huge population of out-of-school children that is a scourge in the north more than any other parts of the country. Heavy investment towards sustaining mass school enrolment should be the way to start with deliberate commitment tobridging the alarming gap in social exclusion. 

Nigerians should be interestedin greater commitment to the much debated neglect in the north which has become dominant issue around narratives of insurgency and banditry. There is no denying the fact the entire country would be the better for it if the monster of insurgency and banditry could be effectively dismantled through an agenda deliberately designed and implemented to bringing about desired change.

President Buhari would do well to go beyond elaborate strategic placement of political elite of northern extraction in government. The auspicioustiming of his presidency considering the supposedly clout of followership he enjoys amongst the downtrodden in the north should translate into enlisting the support of all Nigerianstowards fashioning enduring solutions to the peculiar challenge in the north.

Therefore, at no time has it become more germane to envision a robust agenda targeted at the peculiar challenges in the north than under a leadership that twice rode to power on the strength of population of deprived and neglected citizens who reside in this same region.

The president has the unique reputation of cult followershipin the north and would therefore be rightly suited to be at the driving seat of the agenda the whole world would like to see inbringing about urgent transformation in the north. It would be a huge disservice to the north and the rest of the country if the north emerges at the end of Buhari’s presidency still imperilled in the throes of insecurity and social dislocation with grave consequences for the entire country in the near or foreseeable future.

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