A spokesperson of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari is not helping the north as his administration has been short-changing the region.
This is in spite of the many complaints that the president placed northerners in strategic positions in his government at the expense of other zones in the country.
The south-east and south-south parts of the country believe they are the most short-changed and as a result had long engaged in various agitations against the government.
Speaking during a programme on Liberty Radio Hausa in Kaduna state, according to The Nation, Abdullahi claimed the north is not properly represented in Buhari’s government.
He said apart from this, the president has not helped the north in terms of the distribution of capital projects in the 2016 budget.
He said the northern part of the country voted for Buhari, not because he is in the All Progressives Congress (APC), but simply because the region wanted to send out former President Goodluck Jonathan for reneging in the power shift agreement reached under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
“Buhari has been contesting election in the last 12 years. He contested on the platform of ANPP, contested again on the platform of CPC in 2011.
“In 2015, the north rallied round him because it was aggrieved over the decision of PDP to field Jonathan in spite of the obvious constitutional breach that another four year term for him would have imposed on the country.
“So, given the fact that northerners had resolved that power should shift to the north in 2015 and Buhari’s past record and personal integrity, the north rallied round in his support irrespective of party or religious affiliations.”
According to him, Buhari has not given the north the positions that are commensurate with the voting strength in the region. He said, for example, that positions that had direct dealings with the country’s economy were given out to non-northerners with the exception of the agriculture ministry.
For the capital projects that have been earmarked in the 2016 appropriation bill, the north only got 30 percent, he said, adding: “Imagine, the north east which was ravaged by Boko Haram only got 3 percent.
“In terms of recurrent expenditure which is mainly paying salaries and servicing the day-to-day running of government, the north is also short changed because as at 10 years ago, 0nly 18 percent of federal civil servants are northerners.”