The Chairman of apex northern socio-cultural organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie, yesterday, declared that Nigeria would not survive without the North.
The former Inspector- General of Police stated this in Kaduna, when he received northern women socio-cultural organisation, Jam’iyya Matan Arewa (JMA) during a visit at the national headquarters of the forum.
He urged leaders of the region to put their heads together to save the area, especially from activities that depict the region in negative light even as he disclosed that the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the North-East has now spread to the North- Central and southern parts of the country.
His words: “We all know that without the North, Nigeria can never survive. We still stand by it. But, now is the time to walk the talk in the interest of our people.
“Chibok girls are still missing. Now, it has gone to Dapchi in Yobe State, what happened? Are we always going to be the victims? Look at what Boko Haram did to the North- East. They have spread to the North-Central and even to the southern part of the country.
“Should we continue to be regarded in the negative side? No. We are leaders in our own right and we must exercise this responsibility for our people. Whenever there is crisis, women and children are always the major victims. Enough is enough. Enough of killing of our women and children; enough of kidnapping of our daughters; enough of destruction of our property!”
The ACF chairman, who was visibly frustrated over the situation in the region, lamented the negative narratives concerning the North since the return of democracy in 1999, and called on leaders of the region at all levels of governance to work seriously towards changing the narrative.
He particularly called on the Muhammadu Buhari- led Federal Government to do all within its powers to see to the end of all killings, kidnapping and sundry crimes in the region and the country as a whole.
Speaking directly to the women, Coomasie said: “We are proud that you have come forward to meet us to discuss this issue. Cattle rustlers and armed robbers are having a field day, creating fear and panic in the minds of the people.
“The painful thing is that women and children suffer in these negative traits, and that is why I am excited to welcome you to our secretariat as mothers of the North. You have been at the forefront canvassing for the right of northern women and children even before independence.
“Your founder, late Hajiya Laila Dogonyaro’s contributions to women and children in the region cannot be forgotten. It is sad to note that all of a sudden the Jam’iyyar Matan Arewa went to sleep and refused to perform its responsibility.
“This visit is a reawakening call to you as mothers to ensure that the North regains its lost glory and that all the negative traits are wiped out. The ACF and other northern groups will give all supports needed to your organisation in the advancement of women and youths in the region. Don’t hesitate to let us know your challenges.
Even if we can’t solve them, we will direct you to the appropriate quarters.” In her remarks, the chairperson of JMA, Mrs. Aishatu Pamela Sadauki, said in line with the vision of the late Northern Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, to educate and empower the women of the region, the JMA Resuscitation Committee plans to continue with the ethics towards the development of Northern Nigeria in particular and the country as a whole.
Sadauki, who was represented by the vice chairperson, Hajiya Aisha Aliko Mohammed, added that the women group is working towards encouraging northern women to live in harmony, to be tolerant and self-reliant.
She agreed with Coomasie that JMA has been asleep for long, but assured that it is time for the group to wake up from its slumber and fight the cause of northern women.