The Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum , Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie , has said that unless the endemic problem of corruption, lopsided appointments ( nepotism ), lack of jobs for the army of unemployed youths are addressed, Nigeria may be on the path to anarchy and disintegration. Though Coomassie, a former Inspector- General of Police, did not make any reference to President Muhammadu Buhari -led All Progressives Congress government, he lambasted the sitting governors of the North for impoverishing the people of the region. The former IGP spoke as the chairman at a conference with the theme: “The North and the challenge of leadership,” organised by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation and the Arewa Research and Development Project, which held in Kaduna on Monday. Coomassie, in his address, noted that the country might be heading towards anarchy and eventual disintegration if the problem of bad governance confronting it was not addressed.
He said, “Political office -holders pay scant attention to the needs of their populace. Corrupt practices have become endemic. Not only are contract sums inflated, more often than not, money earmarked for projects that will immensely benefit the populace are removed and the projects are not executed. “Nepotism has become common place in most appointments. People who lack the requisite qualification are appointed to sensitive positions in the public sector either because they are related to or are cronies of powerful political figures with devastating consequences on the polity. “ Service sectors, such as the provision of quality education at all levels , the provision of potable water , the delivery of efficient health services and power supply , have all been relegated to the background.
“… Unless we approach these problems with the seriousness they deserve, we may be heading towards anarchy and eventual disintegration”. Saying that the defunct Northern Region was broken down to 19 states for even development, Comassie noted that the reverse was now the case as the states were now being manned by visionless governors. According to him, state governors today are busy building billion naira airports, government houses and other white elephant while their people live in abject poverty and squalor.
He said it was clear that the North had a problem of good governance. He noted that in the region, the youths, after graduating from school, were not provided with employment. This deplorable situation, Coomasie argued, had made the youths vulnerable “as tools the political class use to foment political violence or foot soldiers of ethnic or religious bigots and extremists to destroy the peace and serenity that the North has been known for.” The conference was organised to commemorate the 52 years of the killing of northern political figures, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the SardaunaSokoto and the Premier of defunct Northern Region and the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa , in the 1966 coup détat . The ACF Chairman extolled the virtues of the late Sardauna and Balewa, whom he said, were selfless and had uncommon passion for their people. He described the era of Sardauna and Belawa as golden to the North and the entire country, saying the men laid a solid foundation for the North despite their limited academic background.