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We Started Poor, She Built The Multi-billion Company With Me, She Can Now Sign N10bn Cheque —Cocharis Boss

** Says he was shot trice by his wife’s uncle

Her parents actually shot me. I can say that because the uncle shot me three times. This is not an exaggerated story. It was a real story – the uncle shot me with a gun.

She has been very helpful and instrumental in my success. The time I married her, I was really a strong, young man fighting to survive. I had just parted ways with my brother. I ventured into importation and the first consignment went wrong and I lost my capital.

But, I am a very determined individual. I believe in dignity in labour. For instance, somebody who came to our wedding gave us a weighing scale. One day, things got so hard that I took it to the market and got people to weigh themselves for a fee. I was collecting 10 Kobo from each customer. I came back with some money and my wife wanted to know what I did, and I told her. She cried like a little baby. Later, to support me, she dusted her certificate and got a job where they were paying her N85. She would bring the money every month to keep us going and we did that until things got better again for me. So, she was my first employee. When you see the name Coscharis, it means Cosmas and Charity combined. So we own the company together because we built it together. She married me when I was driving a motorbike. She came to me when I had nothing. So, whatever I make today, she is my first employee and whenever I went to Japan, she stayed in the shop.

Those days when things were hard for us, I used to ask her to give me a list whenever it was time to give her money to cook soup. I never gave her money without seeing her list. When she returned the week after for money for another soup, I would say ‘write another list.’ Then, I would bring out the former list to compare with the new one. And, if I saw a bottle of oil, I would ask, ‘you bought oil last week, why are you writing oil again?’ Then she would ask me if oil had become Coca-cola that she could drink. That was the level of poverty and training. But she had learnt from all of those things, and today she can sign a cheque of N10 billion and her credit card has no limit.

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N500bn Social Investment Programme Woefully Failed In North – Aisha Buhari

Mrs Aisha Buhari

John Ameh

President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, has rubbished the N500bn Social Investment Programme of her husband’s administration, saying that it failed “woefully” in the North in particular.

Aisha, who hails from Adamawa State, said the situation in her home state, as far as the implementation was concerned, was pathetic.

She also cited Kano, a highly-populated northern state, as another example where she believed the programme failed, despite the huge funds the Federal Government budgeted for it.

The SIP is domiciled in the Office of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, but its direct implementation is done by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment, Mrs Maryam Uwais.

Mrs Buhari bared her feelings on Saturday in Abuja during an interactive programme she organised for women at the Presidential Villa.

For instance, she disclosed that though Uwais informed her that 30,000 women would be beneficiaries in Adamawa State, four years had passed and there was no evidence that the SA kept her word.

The President’s wife spoke in detail, expressing her disappointment.

She went on, “Concerning the N500bn voted for SIP, that was part of 2015 campaigns where they promised to give out N10,000, feed pupils in primary schools and give N5,000 to the poorest of the poor.

“The SSA to the President on Social Investment is a lady from Kano and I am sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is being used or is being given out.  I met Barrister (one of the President’s aides on SIP) once and he promised me that for my state (Adamawa), we should get 30,000 women to be given N10,000. Up till now, I haven’t heard from him.

“I don’t want to raise the alarm that my state does not benefit from it, where the SGF (Secretary to the Government of the Federation) came from, I kept quiet because I don’t want people to say that I talk too much. Recently, I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano, I asked him how much is his capital, he told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Don’t forget that we have campaigned to give the poorest of the poor N5,000 every month.

“So, I don’t know where is the social investment… Maybe, it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22. I didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know, but it failed woefully in Kano, it’s not a good sign and it’s not a good thing.

“We have a lot of women that do business locally due to the cultural thing in the North, they are at home doing their business. Some are millionaires, some have thousands of naira, they need the assistance but they do not get it. Most northern women do not belong to any market association.

“I was expecting the N500bn to be utilised in different methods in the North for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used, but most of the northern states do not get it. My state does not get it.

“How many of you (women in the hall) get it in your state? My state did not benefit from it.”

The women responded by saying that they got nothing in the past four years.

She argued that the method employed in implementing the programme in the North was faulty, a reason she believed it failed there.

“It worked out well in a situation whereby they have market associations but I was thinking different methods should be used in the North”, the President’s wife stated.

Amid applause from women in the hall, Mrs Buhari also criticised the  $16m counterpart fund said to have been used so far on procurement of mosquito nets.

She noted, “I have heard about mosquito nets, Nigeria paid its counterpart fund, $16m. I asked them to give my own share of the net to send it to my village people. I didn’t get it.

“They have spent $16m in buying mosquito nets, I did not get it, maybe some people have got it. But I feel that, that’s my personal opinion, $16m is enough to fumigate mosquitoes in Nigeria. That’s my opinion.”

However, she commended the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, for the initiative to include women in the inauguration programme of her husband for his second term on May 29.

She stated further, “I will also like to use the opportunity to thank the SGF for including women in the inaugural activities of Mr President; this is what is called next level. They didn’t allow us to participate in politics but now they have started giving us hope that we can be involved in certain things.”

On the anti-drug committee chaired by a former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Buba Marwa, the President’s wife recalled how she practically made herself a member to ensure that things went well.

She added, “I also managed to put myself as member of the committee and the wife of the Vice-President. The wife of the Vice-President (Dolapo Osinbajo) has worked very well; it took her one year to go round schools in Abuja because of the level of abuse. Many girls don’t go to school because they are afraid of being raped while returning from school or when their parents are away.

“You know most of their parents are farmers. The revelation is beyond comment. I asked her to publicise her discovery but she didn’t; if she had done so, it would have served as a lesson.

“Over N12bn has been released by the President  to take care of trauma cases across the country. Can you please monitor the money? The ministers are going very soon and the money is being released.”

On the 2019 polls, she called on the All Progressives Congress to refund the money female contestants spent to purchase nomination forms since the women ended up being marginalised. (Punch)

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Recession May Come In 2020, Brace Up For Tough Time —Nigeria Governors Forum

File photo: Nigeria Governors Forum

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday has warned the returning and newly elected state governors that recession may come in 2020 and so they should prepare ahead for tough times in their respective states.

The chairman of the group and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, warned that there may be another cycle of recession from mid-2020 to the third quarter of 2021, the Guardian reports.

He gave the advice at the induction programme organised for the old and new governors at the NGF Secretariat, State House Conference Center, Abuja yesterday.

The NGF chairman told his colleagues that it would not be a smooth ride when they begin a new administration in their states.

“On our part, we made a lot of achievement in infrastructural development and provision of social services because we enjoyed a relatively high oil price of about $100 to $114 per barrel between 2001 and the middle of 2014.

“However, by the mid-2014, the price of crude oil, which is sadly the main driving force of government’s expenditure, dropped to $75 per barrel. It, therefore, became very difficult for many states to even pay salaries of their workers.

“This scenario is a wake-up call for all of you to be prepared to face this kind of challenge, especially since there is the possibility of another cycle of recession by mid-2020 and which may last up to the third quarter of 2021. Your good spirit of stewardship will make you contain the situation should there be one. Also, as members of the National Economic Council (NEC), you must work hand-in- hand to boost the economy in tandem with the global best practices.

Speaking further, he said:

“Experience, they say, is the best teacher. Ours has been a challenging experience of managing state economies that are totally dependent on accruals from the federation account rather than exploring viable alternatives to run the economy.

For most of the states, internally generated revenues are nothing to write home about. You must, therefore, look inward by boosting your revenue generation and also utilize them effectively for execution of projects that will touch the lives of your people. You must not forget the high expectations of our people from us; now that the democracy is maturing daily, the challenges of governance and service delivery are more demanding,” Yari said:

“Borrowing is never a reliable alternative to solving our economic problems. Key revenue agencies like the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Custom Service must be made to work more effectively now that Mr. President has signed the much awaited national minimum wage law, pegging the minimum workers salary at N30,000 per month.”

He urged the incoming governors to strengthen tax laws to encourage Nigerians to pay.

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Over 91 Million Nigerians Now Desperately Poor – World Poverty Clock |RN

Nigerian-kids

Nigerian kids

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The number of extremely poor Nigerians has risen to 91.6 million, according to the World Poverty Clock.

This implies that virtually half of Nigeria’s population now live in extreme poverty.

The World Poverty Clock had named Nigeria the poverty capital of the world last June when it revealed that Nigeria had 87 million people living in poverty.

The latest figure shows that an additional four million Nigerians have since fallen under the poverty line.

The report adds that six Nigerians become poor every minute.

The World Poverty Clock is a tool to monitor progress against poverty globally.

It uses publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption, provided by various international organisations, most notably the United Nations, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

According to the World Poverty Clock which was created by Vienna-based World Data Lab, 91.16 million Nigerians were living below a dollar a day as of February 13, 2019.

The World Bank says a person can be said to be living in extreme poverty if they live below the poverty line of $1.90 which translates to N693.5 per day.

The President Muhammadu Buhari government had last year rejected the report, insisting that it had created jobs especially in the area of agriculture and reduced poverty.

However, British Prime Minister, Theresa May, reiterated the statistics during her visit to Nigeria last year.   (Punch)

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APC Must Be Voted Out For Your Own Good, Dogara Charges North-East |RN

Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe

 

Speaker of the House of Respresentatives, Yakubu Dogara, has charged the people of Gombe and other north-eastern states not to make the mistake of voting APC in the forthcoming general elections.

Mr. Dogara who was in Gombe on Tuesday to attend the north-east zonal rally of the PDP said: “We left APC for PDP because of the hunger and suffering brought to you by the APC government.

He also cited the delay in making the North-East Development Commission a reality as one of the reasons why PDP remained the party to beat in the February 2019 general elections in the North East.

“You must know that the 2019 election is neither between APC and PDP nor between Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and President Muhammadu Bahuri; the election is between you as individuals and the government that has failed to fulfill its promises,” he said.

Then Mr. Dogara added: “You can all bear me witness that poverty and hunger are (rift) in every state that is under APC.

“We asked you to vote out PDP in 2015 thinking that APC could take us to the promise land; that is why we are asking you to change the change,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Yakubu Gowon Urges FG To Listen To Calls For Restructuring, Other Agitations |RN

Yakubu-Gowon

Former military head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon

…Says, ‘Poverty, corruption greatest enemies of Nigeria’s democracy’

From: Noah Ebije, Kaduna

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has urged the Federal Government to listen to the agitations of the people, particularly regarding restructuring, and create a true and fiscal federalism that would enable Nigerians enjoy durable peace and stability.

Gen. Gowon noted that true federalism thrives in a multiplicity society like Nigeria, adding that power has been over-concentrated at the center, while calling for devolution of power to the federation’s units leaving Federal Government with vital aspects like defence, foreign affairs e.t.c.

He said the biggest enemy of democracy is poverty, while calling for massive job creation across board for the teeming unemployed Nigerians to reduce  poverty.

This was also as he said that poverty and corruption were the greatest enemies of the nation’s democracy.

Delivering a keynote address at the 2017 House of Justice Annual Summit at Murtala Square, Kaduna, with the theme ‘Building a Nation of Justice and Peace’, General Gowon, who was represented by former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said Nigerians should resolve to live together in peace through consultation, just as he called for a system of government designed to eliminate corruption and indiscipline on all facets of Nigerians’ lives.

According to him, “Federal Government should listen to the agitations of the people to arrive at a kind of structure that would enable Nigerians have stability and peace.

“There are important reasons to look at fiscal federalism, who gets what, it is becoming a conscientious issue that we cannot wish away, we need to take decisions in the interest of all Nigerians.

“We need good leadership, good governance to produce genuine development. Our democracy must produce good leaders to lead to good policy, good programmes and good development. We must ensure security and welfare of the people.”

“If we are to build a nation of peace and justice, we must agree on object of tolerance. We need a system designed to eliminate corruption and indiscipline in all facets of our lives. We must cultivate integrity, rebuild trust, implore honesty, reward hard work, promote justice, create jobs, trust in younger generations. We must develop zero tolerance for corruption.

“We must eliminate poverty, the biggest enemy of democracy is poverty. We must generate jobs for the teeming youths so that poverty can be eliminated from the society.

“We have no business being poor because GOD endowed Nigeria with tremendous resources that can make Nigerians rich. We need to build a nation of Justice and peace for Nigerians to live together in peace.

“We must create a suitable federal system in a multicultural, multiethnic and multi religious country like Nigeria only federal system can work.

“The best form of cooperation to live together is federalism. Federalism thrives best in a multiplicity of units as we have in Nigeria.

Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Usman Bugaje, in his address, said there was need to salvage the values of the society, even as he called for new features that Nigerians should look for in their leaders to ensure good governance. “The decomposition of our societal values have been so undermined, the society is so loose, we need to come together to salvage our society.

In the words of Bugaje, “We can discuss about what needs to be done but the most important thing is the will to do it. We need to look for character, competence and capacity in our leadership especially in political parties because what we see in most political parties now is that when we want to choose a leader, we look at what the person have, quality leadership will bring justice and peace.”

For CEO House of Justice, Gloria Ballason said the event was aimed at discussing the biggest National problem of the year with a view to find solution to it, adding that law is no law until it ends in social justice. (The Sun)

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58 Million Nigerians Live Below Poverty Line, Says NASSP |The Republican News

nigeria03

…….FG targets 108 poor and vulnerable communities in Nasarawa

From: Linus Oota, Lafia

No fewer than 58 million Nigerians still live below the poverty line, so says National Social Safety net program (NASSP), the office of the vice president.

This is in spite of Federal Government’s efforts to reposition the economy through various programmes.

Coordinator of NASSP, Mr Peter Papka, stated this in Lafia, Nasarawa State, during a three-day training programme on community-based targeting for identification of the poor and vulnerable people in Nasarawa organise by NASSP in partnership with Nasarawa State Government.

Papka said that the distribution of the nation’s resource has not translated into the diversification of the sources of income for most families, adding that the community-based single register of the poor and vulnerable is aimed at reducing extreme poverty in the country.

Represented by the head of National Social registry, Mr Vicent Oriokpa, Papka said the single register was established on the basis of a well-thought out community-based targeting approach where communities would be able to identify poor households in the communities.

In Nasarawa State, Papka said six poorest local government areas were selected base on poverty index, while 18 participants representing 108 communities in those councils are participating in the training. He noted that the programme would enable the Federal Government to fulfil its obligation of providing succour to the citizenry, especially the poorest and vulnerable ones.

The selected local governments for the program in the state are Kokona, Akwanga, Nasarawa, Awe, Lafia and Wamba.

He added that the Federal Government, through NASSP, was building strong institutions and systems to sustain poverty reduction interventions.

Speaking while declaring the training open, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura said the social intervention programme as articulated by the Federal Government was in conformity with his quest to liberate the people of the state, especially the downtrodden from excruciating poverty.

Represented by the commissioner for information, Alhaji Abdulramid Kwara, Governor Almakura said his administration had designed a welfare programme aimed at achieving social safety nets in the state, noting that free education from primary to secondary school his government has offered among other programs is a step towards poverty reduction. (The Sun)

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Economic Recession: Police Detain Parent For Using Son To Loan N8,000

DolapoBadmos

Spokesperson for Lagos State police Command, Doplapo Badmos

Samson Folarin

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested some suspects in connection with the alleged trafficking of a 15-year-old boy, Ajala Samuel.

As of the time of filing this report, it was learnt that one of the prime suspects, one Iya Ibeji, was leading the police to where the victim was held in the Mushin area of the state.

PUNCH Metro had exclusively reported that Samuel’s parents ran into a financial crisis which made them to take the teenager to a Lagos trader, Iya Meta, who gave them N8,000.

The payment was said to be for the two months that Samuel would work for her.

However, Iya Meta sent him to some three women, who claimed to be traders on the Lagos Island.

The traders, who claimed to have paid Iya Meta N72,000 for Samuel’s service, passed him to another family.

Trouble started when Samuel’s parents, at the expiration of the two months he was supposed to work for Iya Meta, raised the alarm that he could not be found.

Iya Meta was said to have directed them to the Ijora Badia Police Division, where she said the matter was being handled by two policewomen, Titi and Funmilayo.

The two policewomen allegedly told Samuel’s parents to pay the N72,000 given to Iya Meta for the victim’s service, failing which he would have to work till October 2017.

A mild drama played out around 8am on Thursday when Iya Meta called our correspondent, saying she had caught one of the three women she gave the victim to.

“I was riding on a motorcycle when I sighted the three women on the road. When they saw me, they took to their heels. I gave them a chase and called on people that they were kidnappers. We eventually caught up with one of them, Iya Ibeji,” she told our correspondent on the telephone.

Our correspondent advised her to immediately report the case to the nearest police station.

PUNCH Metro called the victim’s stepfather, Idowu Isiaka, informing him of the development and suggesting he should call Iya Meta to ascertain her location.

Isiaka later informed our correspondent that the matter had been taken to the Adeniji Adele Police Division.

However, it was learnt that policemen from the Ijora Badia Division sent a signal to the Adeniji Adele Police Station, asking that the matter be transferred to them.

When our correspondent called Isiaka to get an update on the case around 2pm, he said the police had detained him and Iya Meta.

He said, “The police are angry that I reported the case to PUNCH. They said you implicated their officers and that I shouldn’t have reported to you. They have detained me along with Iya Meta. They said they would transfer the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.”

Iya Meta said she had no hand in the trafficking of the victim and appealed for our correspondent’s help.

“Please help me. I am innocent and I didn’t collect anything from these women. They have turned everything against me,” she said.

She informed our correspondent that the police had already followed Iya Ibeji to Mushin, where the victim was.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said investigations were ongoing into the incident.                   (Punchng.com)

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Poverty, Unemployment, Getting Worse, Calls For True Federalism, Says Atiku

Atiku-Abubakar-Speech

Former Vie President, Atiku Abubakar

Eniola Akinkuotu and Lekan Adetayo

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says Nigeria is currently at a crossroads as poverty, unemployment, inflation, infant mortality and other social vices are on the increase.

He, therefore, called on Nigerians to unite in the demand for true federalism.

Atiku said this while delivering his speech at the formal public presentation of the Daily Stream newspaper in Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “A huge pall of pessimism hangs over a section of the citizenry, and the ranks of those who harbour real doubt about the future of the country swell by the day.

“The country is truly at a crossroads, and things are made worse by the cocktail of economic, social and political problems which we have had to contend with, and which add to the abysmally low estimation of our country even by its own citizens.”

The former Vice-President recalled that life was better in the First Republic because each region was allowed to grow at its own pace while the Federal Government was weaker.

Atiku, however, noted that following the creation of states, the Federal Government became very powerful while the federating units became poor, thereby, deepening poverty among the populace

He added, “Our beloved country has been in the throes of severe and debilitating social and economic problems. Virtually all the development indices have not been favourable: massive and pervasive poverty, double-digit inflation, unemployment, dwindling foreign exchange receipts, poor GDP growth rates, high infant and maternal mortality, high levels of illiteracy, and millions of school-age children out of school.”

Atiku said the many problems facing the nation were already threatening the unity and the existence of the country. He, therefore, urged Nigerians to come together to renegotiate the terms of our union.

The former vice-president said no leader could make far-reaching positive changes in the country except the current political structure is changed.

He added, “To be sure, good leaders do make a difference in the fortunes of countries. However, leaders operate within structural constraints imposed by constitutions, laws and regulations and the local and world economy.

“But the most germane question we need to ask ourselves is: must we really continue to live together as one country amidst such a pervasive climate of disunity, which is impeding our development?

“My prompt answer to this is yes, we should remain together because it is the best option, and because we will be stronger, greater, and better in one piece than in pieces.”

Attempts to get reactions of President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, did not succeed. He had not responded  to an email and   an SMS sent to him as of the time of sending this report.   (Punchng.com)

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Buhari’s Government Economic Model Can’t Work, Says Emir Sanusi

sanusilamido

Niyi Odebode, Eniola Akinkuotu and Godwin Isenyo

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ll, on Wednesday, faulted the present administration’s economic model, saying it would not work.

Sanusi, who spoke at the Kaduna State Economic Summit in Kaduna, the state capital, also berated northern leaders, saying the North-West and the North-East remained the poorest parts of the world.

The monarch, who spoke on the theme ‘Promoting investments in the midst of economic challenges’, said the North, as a region, constituted the highest of the nation’s population, but lacked the necessary indices for progress.

Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said the Federal Government was borrowing unsustainably.

He noted that currently, Nigeria was spending 66 per cent of its revenues to pay interests on debts, saying such a model would not work.

Sanusi stated, “The Federal Government of Nigeria is spending 66 per cent of its revenues on interests on debts, which means only 34 per cent of revenues is available for capital and recurrent expenditures.

“That model cannot work. If you look at the 2017 budget of the Federal Government, I sometimes wonder what Nigerian economists are doing? In the 2017 budget presented by the Federal Government, the amount earmarked for debt servicing is in excess of the entire non-oil revenue of the Federal Government, but that is not the problem. The problem is that it is a budget that is even going for more debts.”

He wondered when the Federal Government would stop borrowing if the government was spending 66 per cent of its revenues to pay interests on debts.

The emir said government at all levels should realise that borrowing had reached its limit and should therefore look for ways to attract investments.

“Growth can only come from investments. It cannot come from consumption.  It cannot come from government balance sheet. It cannot come from borrowing because you cannot borrow unsustainably,” he said.

…faults loan from China

Sanusi also faulted the Federal Government on its plan to borrow money from China.

The monarch added, “We have governors; they go to China and spend one month on a tour and what do they come back with, MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) on debts.

“China will lend you $1.8bn to build light rail. This light rail will be done by the rail workers from China. The trains will come from China. The engines will come from China. The labour comes from China. The driver is Chinese.

“At the end of the day, what do you benefit from it? Your citizen will ride on a train and when you ride on a train, in northern Nigeria, in a state like Kano or Katsina, where are you going to? You are not going to an industrial estate to work. You are not going to school?  You are not going to the farm. You borrow money from China to invest in trains so that your citizens can ride on them and go for weddings and naming ceremonies.”

North-West, North-East the poorest parts of the world –Emir

He stated that the North-West and the North-East would have been the poorest in the world, if they were a nation.

Sanusi added, “We are living in denial. The North-West and the North-East, demographically, constitute the bulk of Nigeria’s population, but look at human development indices, look at the number of children out of school, look at adult literacy, look at maternal mortality, look at infant mortality, look at girl-child completion rate, look at income per capita, the North-East and the North-West Nigeria, are among the poorest parts of the world.

“As far back as 2000, I looked at the numbers, Borno and Yobe states, UNDP figures: Borno and Yobe states, if they were a country on their own, were poorer than Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

“Nobody saw this because we were looking at Nigeria as a country that averages the oil-rich Niger Delta, the industrial and commercial-rich Lagos, the commercially viable South-East, and you have an average.

“Break Nigeria into its component parts, and these parts of the country are among the poorest, if it were a country. And we do not realise we are in trouble.”

Sanusi said for the region to leap forward developmentally, it must fix it social and religious problems.

He pointed out that women and children must be loved, not beaten, adding that the region must do away with the 13th century mindset of religion and culture.

Sanusi stated, “Other Muslim nations have pushed forward girl-child education, they’ve pushed forward science and technology. They have pushed forward the arts. We have this myth in northern Nigeria, where we try to create an Islamic society that never existed.”

He added that the northern Muslims had adopted an interpretation of culture and religion that was rooted in the 13th century mindset, which refused to recognise that the rest of the Muslim world had moved on.

He recalled that books, preaching love, were being burnt in northern Nigeria, calling for a better interpretation of Islamic views so that  better life  could be provided for women and the girl-child.

Sanusi stated, “We need to understand the roots of the problem of northern Nigeria. Burning books, it happened in Kano. What is the crime of those books? They were writing about (love), and love apparently is supposed to be a bad word.

“In a society where you don’t love your women and you don’t love your children, you allow them to beg, you beat up your women, why should anyone talk about love?

“We have adopted an interpretation of our culture and our religion that is rooted in the 13th century mindset that refuses to recognise that the rest of the Muslim world has moved on.

“Today in Malaysia, you wake up and divorce your wife; that is fine. But you give her 50 per cent of all the wealth you acquired since you married her. It is a Muslim country. In Nigeria, you wake up after 20 years of marriage, you say to your wife, ‘I divorce you’, and that’s it.

“Other Muslim nations have pushed forward girl-child education; they’ve pushed forward science and technology. They have pushed forward the arts. We have this myth in northern Nigeria, where we try to create an Islamic society that never existed.

“We are fighting culture, we are fighting civilisation. We must wage an intellectual war, because Islam is not univocal. There are many voices, there are many interpretations, there are many viewpoints, and we have for too long allow the ascendancy of the most conservative viewpoints. The consequences of that are that there are certain social problems.”

…knocks Yari over comments on meningitis

Sanusi also knocked the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, on his comments on meningitis, which has killed no fewer than 200 persons in the state.

The governor had, on Tuesday, blamed the deaths from meningitis attack on the sins of the people against God.

But Sanusi said he was pained that a governor should make such an outrageous statement when he was supposed to look for vaccines to stop the deaths.

“I’m sorry about a current issue yesterday (Tuesday). Two hundred people died of meningitis in a state, the governor was asked and he said it was God’s curse on us for the sin of fornication, which does not happen in America, which is why they don’t have meningitis,” he said.

The monarch,  who has a degree in Islamic Law,  added that such a statement shouldn’t  have come from the governor, insisting that he(Yari) should have treated those who had contracted the disease.

He lamented that while Nigerians were thinking of how to come out of the economic recession, the executive and National Assembly were busy fighting each other on political issues.

Sanusi stated, “If you have been reading and watching the news for the last one month, the big and concerned news politically is about leadership but unfortunately, the conversation is not about electricity, infrastructure, education, health care.

“All the conversations are about the National Assembly, the executive, the judiciary, conflict between this politician and that politician as well as confirmation of the EFCC boss.”

Appealing to politicians, he said, “Let us stop playing politics and talk about education and health care. When we get to late 2018, you stop working and politicise, we will understand that, but for now, it is too early. You can’t be in politics for four years.”

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, berated the nation’s political class at the event that attracted captains of industry both from within and without.         (Punchng.com)

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