Making rounds on social media, on Twitter to be specific is a tweet by Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode reacting to a statement by Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmad El-rufai.
In a news report by Daily Post on the 7th of July 2019, Governor El-rufai was cited speaking at the Northern Youth summit organised by Northern Hibiscus Initiative in Kaduna;
Giving the speech in the meeting, he said;
“looking at the statistics, Nigeria appears to be a middle-income country. But, if we segregate those statistics across states and zones, you will see that in terms of human development indicators, 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 Afganistan, 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.
“Northern Nigeria has become the centre of drug abuse, gender violence, banditry, kidnapping and terrorism. We have also been associated with a high divorce rate and breakdown of families. These are the challenges that confront us. This is the naked truth that we have to tell ourselves.
“We must, therefore, as leaders at all levels have a conversation about the way forward for our part of the country. Because increasingly, as many of you must have seen on social media, 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 businessman in Nigeria is still Aliko Dangote, not someone from southern Nigeria, thank God for that”
Reacting to the statements by the Governor, Femi-Fani Kayode took a fraction of the Governor El-rufai’s speech, which says;
“The richest businessman in Nigeria is still Aliko Dangote, not someone from southern Nigeria, thank God for that”
“Any southern businessman that received the kind of support that Dangote received from FG’s over the last 40 yrs would be the richest man in the WORLD today.”
"The richest businessman in Nigeria is still Dangote not someone from Southern Nigeria,thank God for that"- @elrufai.
Any southern businessman that received the kind of support that Dangote received from FG's over the last 40 yrs would be the richest man in the WORLD today.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) July 9, 2019
The comment of Fani-Kayode to a fraction of the statement made by El-rufai has spike varying reactions from Nigerians on Twitter, some taking stands with the governor, some with Fani Kayode, others just sat on the fence, saying the most wealthy man in Africa is just plainly a decent businessman.
Here are some of the reactions;
El-Rufai is acting out a script. He knows the petty & clannish primitive mentality of the North. He is whipping up this sentiment ahead of 2023 elections. He wants to show them he loves the North & hates the South, he wants to take over from Buhari as a Champion of the North
— Ijeoma (@Ijeoma85501) July 9, 2019
Is the 40years inclusive of when MKO who was then richest. Because i heard he was one of the richest if not the richest. Then know one knew dangote. It is turn by turn. Lets support those whom God allow to be in authority irrespective of tribe.
— Stanley Okwu (@StanleyOkwu) July 9, 2019
Such divisive comments from a supposed Leader is very dissapointing, especially at a time that the country is boiling from ethnic sentiments, El-Rufai ought to know better.
— Uch (@Huggy2Huggy) July 9, 2019
Thank good northerners are businessmen & businesswomen not group of thieves like you and part of your groups
— Abdulrahman J umar (@IBNJAMILUMAR) July 9, 2019
As established in the complete statement of Governor El-rufai, he was revealing the degrading state of the northern part of Nigeria, but as a compliment to show that the Northerners has something to be proud of, he made the commendation that the richest man in Africa came from the ‘backwards, less educated and unhealthy northern Nigeria’.
After giving much appraisal to the Southern part of Nigeria for the increasing development that has being experienced by them compare to the retarded growth bedevilling the north, Governor El-rufai’s comment, giving thanks to God for the northerners for producing the richest man from Africa, is basically a compliment, rather than a political or a tribal discrimination.
While it is important that Nigerians air their voice and opinion on matters of importance and of course national issues, it is also imperative that before we delve into granting our comments on matters, we should consider not just a fraction of the story told, let’s do a bit of digging at least to know the root of the matter.
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