Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the present crop of northern leaders is responsible for the backwardness of the region, saying they have abandoned diligence and selfless service and resorted to personal aggrandizement.
Osinbajo made the remark at the opening ceremony of Northern Reawakening Forum (NRF) Summit, held under the theme “Building a Safe, Secure and Economically Inclusive Northern Nigeria” and held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, on Saturday.
He regretted that the elite had jettisoned the foundation set by the founding fathers, leading to the challenges confronting the country.
“Our history reminds us of the visionary leaders in Nigeria, who fired our imagination through their vision, diligence and selfless service, who did not live or fight to enrich themselves; they did not leave vast personal estates behind, but their names and legacies live in the hearts of the people”, the VP said.
“Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Mallam Aminu Kano, J. S. Tarka and countless others clearly understood the varied issues afflicting the region, thought through them, laid the plans and worked selflessly to realize them”.
He explained that in the 19 northern states of Nigeria, the human development indices “are by far poorer than the rest of the country”.
Osinbajo said the Northern Nigerian Economic Summit of 2012 was the first forum to draw attention to some of the depressing statistics about the condition of the North.