Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says northern leaders need to provide the region with good and selfless leadership.
Jega spoke on Monday at the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series organised by the Coalition of Northern Nigeria (CNG) in Katsina state.
He said it is worrisome that “terrible statistics” regarding poverty, unemployment and insecurity always emanate from the northern part of the country.
Jega blamed the situation on poor leadership, selfishness, lack of vision and ideas on the part of the leaders.
“Whether it is poverty, unemployment, insecurity, infant mortality, out-of-school children, poor girl-child education, or even early marriage challenges…everything you can think of, the terrible statistics always come from the northern part of this country,” Jega said.
He described the late Sule, former permanent representative to the United Nations, as a selfless and patriotic Nigerian who served the country well and protected northerners.
Jega said erstwhile northern leaders like Sule led the country as youths and did well in protecting and developing the region and ensuring its integrity.
“But several decades later while cherishing these heroes passed memories of leaders, what kind of leadership qualities does the north have now,” he asked.
He called on the youths to develop themselves through active participation in politics in order to prevent vandals from destroying the economy.