UNDERDEVELOPMENT MAY PERSIST IN NORTH - SAMBO

By NBF News
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Vice-President- Designate, Alhaji Namadi Sambo
Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Thursday in Abuja reflected on the spate of uprising in northern Nigeria and said it would take between 10 and 30 years for the area to develop like other parts of the country.

He, however, called for dialogue among political leaders in the North with a view to curtailing the trend of violence in the area.

Sambo spoke during the public presentation of a book entitled, Clash of identities: State, Society and ethno-religious conflicts in Northern Nigeria, written by the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Dr. Hussaini Abdu.

Represented by the Minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku, the VP regretted that violence in the north had led to a devaluation of the elements of peace.

He said, 'Northern Nigeria is the most complex part of the country because of the numerous ethnic groups. There are places you go in the North where it is difficult for people to understand each other's languages. In one local government area in Nasarawa State, there are more than 15 different ethnic groups, with nine different languages. The North is a complex entity which needs the intervention of our leaders.

'The Sultan of Sokoto was able to rule the northerners because he brought everybody under one canopy. The challenge for all of us then is to have frank discussion with members of the community. If violence should persist in the North, it will take another 10-30 years for them to develop like other parts of the country.

'We believe that the North is far behind other parts of the country in terms of development; if you go to the South-West and South-East, you will notice that there is homogeneity in terms of aggregate ethnic culture.'

The VP regretted that the North, which used to be one of the most peaceful parts of the country where people show solidarity, no matter their tribes, religion and ethnic background, had now become notorious for crises.