"Power cannot return to the North in 2015; ...power-hungry Northern leaders lack the moral reasons to lead the country" - Maku

The Minister of Information and Supervisory Minister of Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku, Tuesday explained that northern Nigerian leaders lack the moral reasons to lead the country come 2015.
He urged the people of the North to jettison ethnic politics and support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Maku said this in Kaduna, at a town hall meeting organised by the National Good Governance Tour (NGGT) team to round-off the three-day inspection visit to the state.

The minister noted that the president had more than any other president shown commitment to the development of northern Nigeria, adding that no northerner elected as president would agree to spend one term in office.

"If we are talking about development, clearly, clearly, clearly, the North has not had it better under any president than we have under Jonathan. So, we need to accept this reality so that we can proceed in this politics with conviction, rather than propaganda," he said.

Maku, who accused leaders from the North of being too desperate for power, said only a sick president would agree to vacate office after a single term.
"Who in northern Nigeria will be elected as president and spend one term? A president that is not sick, a president that is performing , a president that is delivering development, who among northerners will be elected as president and spend one term, including me? If I am elected president, I will not spend one term. I will ask for second term, unless I'm sick," he stated.

Maku observed that northerners would go to any length for power, but warned that the identity of northern Nigeria should not be abused for individual ambition.

He noted that many of the military coups witnessed in Nigeria's history were staged by northerners.
"In the North, when people want power, they will do anything, and I keep reminding us, I am in Kaduna today and I will repeat it here, and I will speak to the North as well, apart from Kaduna Nzeogwu's coup, which other coup between 1966 and 1999 was staged by southerners, so much about the North, when people have interest in power, they will do anything. We must not abuse the name of the North because this region is too significant to the country, it is too important to Nigeria for us to tribalise developmental issues," he added.
Maku stated further that northern leaders cannot account for their long years in power, given the low level of development in the region.

He said the country's infrastructural development suffered a serious setback since the military overthrew the former President Shehu Shagari's regime in 1983.
The minister said: "There was nothing they did not say about Shagari, the old man is sitting there, watching this infrastructure decay, and northerners have been ruling Nigeria since then. What did they do about Ajaokuta, what did they do about Zungeru, what did they do about linking the North with railway, what did they do about dredging of the Niger, nothing happened.

"I think we are making a great mistake because this is the time to re-examine our past to build partnership, to build new bridges for the unity of this country, if you tell yourself a lie, you will believe in it until you meet your tragedy, that should not be our portion."
He explained that President Jonathan's administration had more than previous administrations, ensured the development of northern Nigeria, contrary to fictions across the North.
"The president is giving us even more attention than our sons would do and that is the reason why I think we should think again about the way we are going because the way we are going, I see a lot of drama on the stage, a lot of this drama is tragedy. And this is not good for the North, this is not good for Nigeria.

"The fiction in the North is that President Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo are not developing the North, that fiction is whipped by politicians who see nothing other than their own blind ambition, When they want to do it, they continue to talk about North. When they come to power, you don't see anything. In terms of development, what we are witnessing today is momentous, not only for northern Nigeria but Nigeria as a whole," he added.

The minister, however, urged politicians, especially of northern extraction to have a sober reflection and consider the country's unity as a priority.
"Let us be very sober in the way we are defining the politics of this country, it will not help us here in the North and it will not help the future of Nigeria. I think we really need to reflect about the way our development is going and develop a platform of partnership with other parts of the country, for the unity and development of the country," he said.