Some Northern leaders have traded blames over the failure of the leadership to put the region ahead of the South in the polity.
They argued that the region would remain behind the South in development, if the trend is not reversed.
The leaders were reacting to a former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta’s statement accusing members of the Northern Elders Forum of sowing seeds of discord in the country.
Jimeta also accused the elders of causing confusion in the polity in order to discredit President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
A Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, challenged Jimeta to name the controversial elders.
Mohammed said, “He is making a general statement; he should come out straight and tell us who are the elders. He is also one of the Northern leaders and elders but his comments have shown the kind of personality he is.”
However, the National President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Mr. Yerima Shettima, agreed that Northern leaders had failed the people and there was a need to retrace their steps to meet up with the level of development in the South.
He said, “Our leaders have failed us and our generation and that is why we are paying for their failures now. The North has continued to remain backward because we have continued to be insensitive to the plight of the people. That is why we are far behind the South in development.
“Specifically, the former heads of state of northern extraction had big opportunities to put things in place for the North but they failed to do so. In the current democratic dispensation, some people have raised their voice against the North over oil derivation.
“We look lazy to them but they are not right. These people believe we depend on their oil but we have what can fetch us more money than oil; the only difference is that monies from oil come quicker.
“The leaders had the opportunity of over 30 years of ruling; if they had seized the opportunity, northerners would not go to the South to be guards or beggars to survive.”
In his reaction, the National Publicity Secretary, Arewa Consultative Forum, Anthony Sani, argued that the nation’s problems were not limited or peculiar to the North.
He said, “There have been claims and counterclaims on Nigeria’s problems. It must be noted that there is Boko Haram insurgency in the North; there is ethno-religious crises in Jos; the kidnapping in the South-East represents about 25 per cent of the world; there is armed robbery cases in the South-West; can we say the problems are exclusively of the North?
“If the nation’s problems are from the North, why are other regions having their peculiar problems? We have all failed; both the leadership and the followership. The followership breeds the leadership.”
Sani added that until critics looked at the problems holistically, the blame game would continue.