In the wake of the backlash that greeted Obi's recent promise to begin executing his transformation plan from the north of the country, a chieftain of the Labour Party, Dr. Yunusa Tanko has jumped in the defense of his principal by insisting that his region remains the most backward in the entire nation.
Recall that in a message sent to his supporters via his Twitter handle a fortnight ago, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Gregory Obi reiterated his campaign promise of kick-starting his national transformation agenda from the northern part of the country. Quite interestingly, the former Anambra governor's promise is still drawing a flurry of scathing criticisms from prominent northern political elites in the ruling party, who have come out to accuse him of openly insulting their region of being poor.
However, while speaking in an interview on Africa Independent Television's 'New Nigeria' program with Olawale Oluade on Friday night, Tanko, who is the spokesman for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, insisted that Obi was merely stating the fact about the north, adding that despite having been in power for more than five decades of the nation's 62 years of independence, his (Tanko) region remains the most backward in terms of poverty and underdevelopment.
He said; "Nigeria has been an independent country for 62 years. Within that period, northerners have been in power for a combined fifty-two years. I am a northerner, a very proud one for that matter. But the development of this country is so backward, especially from my end. What have these northern leaders done for our people? Have our people been affected positively? Can they go to school or their farms? Are they secured such that they can be of economic importance to themselves and the entire country? The answer is no.
When you go to the streets of Lagos, it is my people you see there as beggars. Yes, most of the beggars there are from my region. But here comes along someone who is a bridge builder by default, not because he is from the Southeast, but because he represents the interests of Nigerians and the youth at large. If we had just thrown away our personal interests and looked to see the consistency, character, and capacity of this particular person, we would have used this particular election to unite this country once and for all. There wouldn't be any agitations at all."
SOURCE: YouTube (Forward video to 11:13).
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