A former Governor of old Kaduna State and elder statesman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has said northern Nigeria needs at least 40 years to catch up with the southern region in terms of educational development.
The former governor said this in an interview with our correspondent while reacting to the claim by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, who described northern Nigeria as being the poorest region in the country and in dire need of attention.
Musa said the North was a troubled child of the country because of the misrule of political leaders and a skewed system of deprivation left by the colonialists in the North.
He said, “The North is truly behind, but it is not only the North that is in trouble. The whole country is in trouble. The North is not another country. The problem in the North, as far as education is concerned, is a gap which it inherited from the British colonialists. And I have estimated that this gap in educational development between northern Nigeria and the South is a 40-year gap.
“This means that the North is behind the South in educational development for at least 40 years. This shows that even if the North wakes up today and takes a revolutionary step to bridge the gap, it will take the North 40 years.
“You know the position of educational development in national growth. This is the reason why the North is a troubled child and has never allowed Nigeria to have peace, unity and progress. It is not possible for the northern people with this unequal human capacity to participate actively in their affairs. They will always be the source of trouble.
“I believe this problem can be tackled by the government bringing a free, compulsory primary and secondary education throughout Nigeria. The government can afford it. I think this talk of ‘North’, ‘North’ should stop. The whole country should come together and find solutions to these problems.
“We have had many presidents from the North but what benefits have they done to the North? Presidents also came from the South-West and South-South. In what ways did those presidents benefit their regions? None. Therefore, we need to sit down as a country and tackle our problems collectively.”