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Babangida Aliyu, former governor of Niger state, says northern governors are not doing enough to help the region surmount its numerous challenges.
Aliyu, who is the chairman, board of trustees of Ahmadu Bello Foundation, spoke in Kaduna at a reception for the new management of the foundation.
He charged northerners to rise up to the challenges of leadership and find ways to tackle the unending problems of poverty and backwardness, especially in education.
The former governor said the north is endowed with resources in mining and agriculture which must be harnessed for the growth of the region.
“When you talk of children out of school, when you talk of extreme poverty, you see it in this part of the world, ” he said.
“The northern part of the country needs to do more extra ordinary things to fight the challenges properly.”
“Up till now, the agricultural output has not been in commercial quantity, we should be able to coordinate our activities so that we can take what we call a comparative advantage in Agriculture, mining and other areas.
“That is why we think it is important to continue to celebrate the legacies of Sir Ahmadu Bello.
“The love for one another whether Christian or Muslim, deliberately developing one another the way Sir Ahmadu Bello did.
“Our governors in the 19 northern states are not giving the needed cooperation that will help us; we need to do more than what we were doing, we need to double our efforts. The northern states must unite regardless of which party you have used to win the elections. ”
Also speaking, Rukaiyya Rufai, a former minister of education, said the government and the foundation are putting together strategic plans to address challenges affecting the north.
She said the foundation was targeting the education sector and had positioned a high level research team to develop a roadmap to tackle challenges in the sector.
“By the time the report is out, I assure you that you will know that the foundation is doing much to address the issues in our education sector,” she said.