From Noah Ebije,Kaduna
A Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) on Thursday disclosed that the Northern region made political mistake in 2015 by voting into office politicians whom they said were insensitive to the socio-economic plights of the people in the region.
The Coalition also noted that those politicians actually rendered the people beggars, while they go on holidays overseas with their immediate families soon after they were voted into power, even as they are about to leave office.
Speaking at the sensitization rally for the 2023 general elections, Spokesperson of CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said the 2023 election would not just going to be transfer of power from one party to another, but it was going to vote to transfer power from a bankrupt elite.
Recalled that CNG spearheaded the infamous Igbo must go campaign about six years ago, which prompted the Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-rufai to declare its leaders wanted.
However, at Thursday’s event, Suleiman said, “Indeed, the North made a mistake in 2015 so that the deliberate commission or omission of the people we trusted with power has inadvertently isolated the region politically, economically and socially as a result of which, the once portent and progressive region is today begging not only for food, but for a place in the nation’s future political arrangement.
“The North, for the first time in 2015, closed all religious and ethnic gaps and voted in one direction with incredible expectations that leaders we elected will get us through and out of our limitations around security and the economy.
“The North has been abandoned to a critical security situation with its women widowed, children orphaned, youths maimed and killed and people displaced by the thousands.The simple explanation for the region’s current predicaments is that, its self-centred leaders merely misused all those decades of power for self -serving purposes at the expense of the majority that was and still is being forced through deprived education systems, poor health conditions and wage labour.
“The CNG is today urging you to be less reliant and less amenable to divisive political party propaganda and empty promises that have never, and would never be kept.If the price of voting along religious, ethnic or sectional sentiment is to become the most wretched, the most distressed, derided and most deprived, the North must therefore sincerely begin to ask itself if that price is worth paying.
“The coming round of fresh elections in 2023 has a very special meaning, because Nigerians will not merely vote to transfer power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are going to vote to transfer power from a bankrupt elite, and give it back to the people.For too long, a small group of condescending elite has reaped the rewards of government, while the people have borne the cost.
“These people and their families have flourished, but the people did not share in the nation’s wealth. Politicians and leaders we have elected have prospered, but the bulk of us are left jobless, homeless, helpless and hopeless. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
“And while these elite celebrate with their families celebrated in world capitals, there has been nothing to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. 2023 would be special because the only thing that will truly matter to Citizens is not which party or which candidate controls our government in future, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
“At the center of this sensitisation initiative by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) is a crucial conviction that a nation must exist to serve its citizens. We northerners in particular, want good schools for our children, secure and safe environments for our families, and good jobs for ourselves.
“These are just and reasonable demands of a people in a region from where politicians extract the bulk of their winning votes, but for too many of Northern citizens a different reality exists today: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities and towns, businesses are closing, dead factories scattered across the landscape, an education system which leaves our young and industrious students deprived of all knowledge, and the crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed the North of so much unrealized potential”.