The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi ll, says real change in the north will come from those who are considered mad people because northerners need to do things differently in order to succeed.
Sanusi stated this while speaking at the 60th birthday of Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, in Kaduna on Monday, February 17, 2020.
According to him, northerners are on the verge of destroying themselves if they fail to address the myriad challenges facing them.
He highlighted the main problems facing the region as poverty, millions of out-of-schoolchildren, malnutrition, drug abuse, Almajiri and the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Emir said no leader of the North should be happy in the face of the multifarious challenges confronting the region.
“The real change in the north will come from those who are considered mad people, because you look around and say if this is the way we have been doing things, and this is where we have ended up, maybe we need to do things differently.
“If the north does not change, the north will destroy itself. The country is moving on… If we don’t listen, there would be a day when there would be a constitutional amendment that addresses these issues of quota system and federal character.
“The rest of the country cannot be investing, educating its children, producing graduates and then they watch us, they can’t get jobs because they come from the wrong state, when we have not invested in the future of our own children.”
Emir Sanusi said no northern leader can afford to be happy in the midst of problems facing the region.
“When we talk about birthday, we talk about happiness. Just last week, someone asked me,‘ are you happy?’ And I said,‘ I am not’. And the person was surprised. The truth is, nobody who is a leader in Northern Nigeria today can afford to be happy.
“You cannot be happy with about 87 per cent of poverty in Nigeria being in the North. You can’t be happy with millions of northern children out of school.
“You can’t be happy with nine states in the North contributing almost 50 per cent of the entire malnutrition burden in the country.
You can’t be happy with the drug problem, you can’t be happy with the Boko Haram problem. You can’t be happy with political thuggery. You can’t be happy with all the issues; the Almajiri problem that we have.
“So, we wish Nasir a happy birthday, but we do not want him to be happy as a leader. Because you are happy when you think you have reached a state of delivering and taking your people to where you want them to be.”
He warned northerners to desist from marrying more wives and bearing more children than they can take care of, else they will continue to live in poverty.