The Spokesman of Arewa Consultative Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi has expressed the North’s readiness to debate whether Nigeria should remain as a country or not.
Abdullahi added that some Nigerians believe the regions making up the country were mistakenly put together by the British colonialists.
The ACF chieftain told ThisDay Newspaper: “The issue of restructuring, of course, is a subject that we’re ready to discuss with anyone. The issue of the country and its existence is also an issue that we’re prepared to discuss with anyone who questions the very basic need for having the country as it is now; because there are some people who are arguing along those lines that Nigeria, ab initio, had been mistakenly put together by the British. Although some clergymen say it is God; it’s not God. It is the creation of the colonial masters.”
The ACF chieftain also claimed that many members of Boko Haram terrorists were graduates and PhD holders, arguing that the primary cause of the group’s emergence was not its hatred of Western education.
“The Boko Haram phenomenon has nothing to do with Western education. It has never been the basis of its coming into existence. Many of the members of Boko Haram are graduates; many active members of Boko Haram are graduates. Also, I can tell you that some of them are PhD holders. So, it has got nothing to do with Western education,” the elder statesman said
Abdullahi stated further that the collapse of the country’s socio-economic structures, rather than aversion for Western education, was what inspired the insurgency, pointing out that a number of the terrorist group’s leaders were from Kogi State.
He said: “It has more to do with the manner in which the socio-economic structures of the country are being managed. The areas where there is easy recruitment of Boko Haram members are the poorest areas of this country –North-east. But it might interest you to know that quite a number of the active leadership of Boko Haram is from Kogi State. It has nothing to do with Western education; in fact, many of the Boko Haram members are more educated than those who claim to have had Western education. “The crisis of Boko Haram –either the current type or the future type of Boko Haram –that this country will end up having must be related to our willingness to manage this country so that we avoid all those ingredients that cause disaffection, anger, and distrust.”
In addition, he also condemned how Nigeria’s political office holders often displayd their wealth in the midst of abject poverty, warning that a “new” Boko Haram will emerge if the nation’s resources was continued to be mismanaged by the leaders.
“Seeing people affluently mismanaging our resources to the detriment of the majority that are wallowing in abject poverty; this is what will breed either new Boko Haram or a new version (of extremists) in the future unless something is done about it.
“The level of unemployment of graduates in this country is frightening and this is a recruiting ground for the banditry we’re witnessing in our society today,” he said.