Elites responsible for the poverty in the North – Shehu Sani

by Azeez Adeniyi

Senator representing Kaduna South, Shehu Sani on Wednesday said the high rate of poverty in the North was the fault of elites in the area.

The Senator said this when he hosted leaders of lepers, the deaf and dumb, the blind and the cripple in Kaduna State in his office.

He said despite the number of wealthy people in the North, the region still witness the highest rate of poverty.

He said the poor “toiled and worked for us, and laboured hard to see us elected into public office.”

Sani said the poor and physically-challenged are usually neglected after elections.

Sani said, “It has always been the same pattern; each time we are aspiring for political offices, we search for them in the nook and crannies but at the very time we have won the election, the best thing is how to clear them from our cities.

“You cannot end (street) begging in any part of Nigeria without making provisions for uplifting their socio-economic and living standards. It has always been the case. Public begging and loitering is an economic problem. You cannot legislate people out of poverty; you cannot decree people out of poverty; you have to lay an economic roadmap for which these people can stand and fend for themselves.

“Begging has been a major problem in northern Nigeria but it couldn’t in any way be stopped because the economic basis that would address the problem has not been done. Many rich northerners, who own oil blocks and are in position of power, are seeing these people as pests in the society that should be cleared off. And they cannot be cleared off.”

He added, “We have enough people who are rich in the northern part of Nigeria and who could have ended this problem. But what we should understand is that philanthropy alone cannot address the problem of socio-economic inequality; we need to have an entrenched social system and social justice in which people of this social status can have their standard uplifted.”

He lamented that no provision was made for the physically-challenged people in the budget.

“We live in a very oppressive and exploitative society; the class of the the few are the ones who are consistently supported; they are the ones who have been enriched consistently. And we have a mass of people who are in abject poverty.

“Government should not measure its achievement by the number of rich people it has created but by the number of poor people it has been able to lift out of poverty. That should be the guiding principle. But successive governments in Nigeria have been very unfair to our physically-challenged people. They were the ones who were on the queues on election day. They were the ones who were brutalised and persecuted by previous administrations. They need to see, feel and benefit from change at hand,” Sani said.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail