Current Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, says the north has a lot to benefit from restructuring, stating that the region currently has the highest levels of poverty in the country.
Bishop Kukah who spoke on Tuesday said people think that the north, or body language of the leaders in the region suggest that they not interested in restructuring.
“But in reality, the beneficiaries of restructuring are the northerners. How? Because as the chief of army staff and everybody has accepted, Boko Haram is a product of poverty.
“The poverty level of the southwest are hovering between 13 to 17 percent. What is Zamfara today? It is a cesspit of violence; the poverty levels whether in Zamfara, or Sokoto, or Katsina or Kebbi, the average state in northern Nigeria is hovering between 70 and 80 percent.
“It is actually in our interest to understand that the one thing we have monopolised in Nigeria is poverty, because if being in power were enough, the northerners have been in power more than anybody.
“The power you are talking about is the power of ideas, and you know a lot of things have been so demystified, and I give you an example. 9/11, the destruction of the twin towers, it cost al-Qaeda $500,000.
“From reconstructing the twin towers and finding Osama Bin Laden, it ost the Americans $3.3 trillion. So the world is changing; it is now a world of ideas, it is no longer a world where you are monopolising power because of region or religion”.
The next election in Nigeria will be completely different, stating the rise of political intellectualism in Nigeria’s politics.
Kukah said the debate between Peter Obi, the PDP vice-presidential aspirant and Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo is a sign that Nigeria is at the threshold of a new governance system, where it will be ideas versus ideas — not where a clique decides the next president.
“For me the real restructuring is about the future; how do you create an environment in which everybody can excel”.