Tanko Yakasai, a founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has said northerners are the most unlucky people in the country.
Yakasai said though the north has produced more leaders than the south, it is the most impoverished region in Nigeria.
The elder statesman spoke at a virtual conference themed ‘The 2nd Never Again Conference: 51 years after the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War’, hosted by Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo Think Tank, in partnership with Ovation International and Njenje Media.
He said: “Some southerners have accused the North of ploys to dominate leadership positions and treat other regions of the country as second-class citizens. They have also alleged that the North was against the proposed restructuring of the country because it benefits from the current system, which they believe is unfair and unproductive.
“Meanwhile, despite having ruled the country longer than the South, the North is said to have higher number of out-of-school children, higher poverty and illiteracy rates, especially with the Almajiri system”.
Yakasai said some leaders in the south are blaming the north for the problems in the country and also accusing the region of not being serious with the call for restructuring.
“I’m a northerner but we are the most unlucky people in this country,” he added.
“Most people blame us for their problems but we are the poorest in the country. I was reading recently the number of billionaires in Nigeria and out of 10, eight were from the South and only two were from the North; Aliko Dangote and Abdul Samad Rabiu of BUA Group.
“We have been in power more than any other ethnic group. The fact is that we held power more than anybody yet we became the poorest.”