By David Olalekan.
A former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has tackled Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for praising northerners for being “generally considered” to be more honest and less corrupt than other Nigerians.
The governor, while lamenting the slow rate of development in Northern Nigeria during his speech at the Northern Youth summit on Saturday, also stated that it was rare to find someone from the North convicted of 419 or being a “Yahoo boy”.
Governor El-Rufai said: “Nigeria consists of two countries; there is a backward, less educated and unhealthy northern Nigeria, and a developing, largely educated and healthy southern Nigeria. We have to speak the truth to ourselves and ask why is it that northern Nigeria has development indicators similar to Afghanistan, a country still at war?
“We have the largest number of poor people in the world, most of them in northern Nigeria. Nigeria also has the largest number of out of school children, virtually all of them in Northern Nigeria.
“We are being considered as the parasite of the federal economy, even though, that is not entirely true. Because northern Nigeria still feeds the nation. The richest business man in Nigeria is still Aliko Dangote, not someone from Southern Nigeria, thank God for that.
“So, we still have a lot to be proud of. We should be proud of our culture and tradition, as well as unity. You hardly can find someone from northern Nigeria convicted of 419 or being a Yahoo boy. That is something we should be proud of.
“We are generally considered to be more honest and less corrupt than other Nigerians. That is something we should be proud of.”
Fani-Kayode, however refuted the governor’s assertion in a statement on his Twitter page.
He wrote: ”Put the EFCC, the Police and DSS in the hands of Southerners and see what happens. Northerners have looted the treasury over the last 59 years of our nation’s existence more than ANY other group of Nigerians.”