Former Emir of Kano and ex-governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, Muhammad Sanusi in an annual conference organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, led by Poju Oyemade on thursday stated that “those who claim to represent the interest of the country’s geopolitical zones were fighting for their pockets.”

“Nigeria has witnessed series of ethno-religious crisis which has resulted in several ethnic groups calling for a referendum.” He stated.

On ways to solve the crisis and restore peace, the former Emire said “Nigerians must recognize that irrespective of political office, every citizen must be good representative of their beliefs, religion and ethnic groups.”

Sanusi, said those who claimed to represent the interest of southerners and northerners due to the political positions they occupy are more concerned about their pockets than happenings in the various areas they represent.

According to Sanusi: “Ethno-religious crisis is not so much from Nigerians but the Nigerian elites. We have identities in Nigeria but the construction of opposing identities, the political process, is basically the Nigerian elite competing among itself for a share of the national cake.

‘’I don’t think people who say they are fighting for Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba are really interested. I mean when they there at the end of the day, it is about them and their families.

‘’There is nobody out there that is really representing north or south or east. They claim to be, if you look at the cabinet. In the history of Nigeria, there has never been a government that does not have people from every part of the country.

‘’So, the first thing to recognise is that we must get away from the sense that holding political office is what makes you representative of a people.’’

Sanusi also commended the federal government for its decision to remove fuel subsidy, adding that the reforms being adopted by the government would yield positive results.

The event was organised to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.

On the girl-child’s education, Sanusi said: “When you look at a country like Nigeria, my sense is that the focus on the education of the girl-child and the place of the woman, are the most critical SDGs we should focus on. If you educate a girl-child, you deal with a number of issues. You deal with the opportunities you gave to the rise of poverty.”

Sanusi explained that education of the girl-child is at the heart of development and raising of standard of living.

“You deal with inter-generational poverty, you deal with mortality, you deal with nutrition; you deal with the education of the child because the children of educated women are more likely to be educated than the children of those who did not go to school; you deal with water and sanitation and so on.” He concluded.

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