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Northern Politicians Reduced to ‘On Your Mandate’ Praise Singers in Tinubu’s Government – Former APC Chief


In a searing critique of the political dynamics under President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Salihu Moh. Lukman, former national vice chairman of the APC, has unleashed a damning assessment of Northern politicians within Tinubu’s administration, accusing them of being mere “praise singers” who have failed to address critical issues plaguing the North.

Lukman’s scathing remarks, articulated in a detailed opinion piece, underscored the dire socio-economic conditions prevailing in Northern Nigeria.

He painted a stark picture of pervasive poverty, high unemployment rates, and crumbling public services, declaring, “If anyone is interested in finding the practical meaning of the Hobbesian description of life being ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, just look at what life is in Northern Nigeria.”

The former APC leader highlighted the deteriorating state of schools, hospitals, and civil service across the nineteen Northern states, attributing the region’s decline to ineffective leadership and mismanagement of public resources.

He lamented the loss of traditional institutions’ influence and the widening gap in governance, exacerbating societal woes.

“Most of our religious leaders and centres are far removed from God’s way of life,” Lukman remarked, critiquing the disconnect between religious ideals and prevailing realities in the North.

He also pointed out the decline in agricultural activities, a critical sector for the Northern economy, due to escalating insecurity and neglect.

He wrote, “Few industries exist in the region. And on account of insecurity, agricultural activities, which is the main stay of the economy of the region, is highly on the decline.

No need to go into conventional statistical analysis of out of school children, number of people living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. Not to talk of problems of drugs and substance abuse. Problems of broken homes and abandoned children is quite alarming.

As it is, the North is an explosive waiting to explode. We have lost virtually all our homes, our families and our children. Every person with human feeling should be saddened with the reality of what the Northern part of Nigeria has become.”

Moreover, Lukman criticised the political leadership in the North, lamenting its fragmentation and lack of unity.

He lambasted Northern politicians for their self-serving interests and highlighted the failure to capitalise on the national acceptability once enjoyed by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The North has never been disunited without any semblance of political leadership like we have in today’s Nigeria,” he asserted.

Drawing attention to the governance under President Tinubu, Lukman accused Northern politicians in his cabinet of being “absentee public servants” and criticised their complacency in the face of worsening living conditions.

He condemned the administration’s lack of proactive measures to address poverty, unemployment, and insecurity, labelling their actions as detrimental to the region’s progress.

“Virtually all other Northern politicians holding offices in this government… are reduced to members of a choir group poorly singing ‘on your mandate we stand’,” Lukman remarked, deriding their failure to hold Tinubu’s administration accountable for its shortcomings.

The former scribe of the Governors’ Forum also blamed former President Muhammadu Buhari for doing little or nothing to solve the North’s many problems.

He wrote, “Perhaps, the opportunity for Northern political leaders to redeem themselves and return the North back to rational order with committed leaders capable of responding to the challenges of the region was blown away during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The painful reality was that no leader in the political history of Nigeria gained the kind of national acceptability former President Buhari had at the beginning of his tenure. The closest was Chief M. K. O. Abiola whose election was annulled by the military regime of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

“More than any Northern political leader, former President Buhari undisputedly won the votes of people from both Northern and Southern Nigeria, which could have been used to produce new crop of selfless leadership for the country. Selfless leadership is required to put every part of Nigeria on the roadmap to national development.

Golden eight years between 2015 and 2023 was lost. Instead, the country, especially the North became worse off with crisis of insecurity taking over everywhere.

Problems of poverty, unemployment, drugs and substance abuses, etc. becoming almost peculiar characteristics of the Northern region.”

Lukman’s analysis extended to the broader implications of Northern politicians’ inertia under Tinubu’s leadership.

He warned of escalating tensions and the potential for social unrest in the North, citing widespread hunger and desperation among the populace.

“Hungry people who are everywhere in the North will start breaking into homes and looting properties of innocent citizens,” he cautioned, highlighting the imminent dangers if corrective measures are not promptly taken.

The former APC vice chairman called for a paradigm shift in Northern politics, emphasising the urgent need for cohesive and accountable leadership.

He urged Northern politicians to transcend personal interests and collaborate in building new political frameworks that prioritise the region’s development.

“For the North to wake up and change this default mindset, conscious effort must be made to develop new frontiers of political organisation,” Lukman advocated, stressing the importance of mobilising human and material resources towards resolving Northern challenges.

Lukman’s critique reverberates across political circles, it underscores the growing discontent among Northern power establishment.

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