Sanusi Lamido says Nigeria’s diversity idea does not favour ordinary citizens

FORMER Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi says Nigeria’s diversity concept is rigged against marginalised Nigerians.

Sanusi who spoke on Friday during a news current affairs programme on Arise TV to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary, said Nigerians need to understand what it means to be diverse to benefit from its diversity.


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“Diversity is more than taking a minister from every state in the country as if diversity is about diversity by states. How about the constitutional requirement that says you cannot have more than 60 per cent of the cabinet of a particular gender?

“These are the kind of intellectual questions we should be asking?” he noted.

He argued that an individual from the North is not better off because there is a Muslim minister from his region, adding that a Christian in Kafanchan, is not better off because he has a Christian minister from his area.

The ex-CBN governor and current Chancellor of the Kaduna State University said the current political structure is patriarchal and does not reflect the needs of women and youths.

“Having Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa people in a government does not mean it’s diverse when we have 70 years old men, born in the same generation, thinking exactly alike, and completely disconnected from the lives of women and the youths.

“They don’t have that experience and it is not even a priority for them but diversity is what we need that ensures the government reflects all the needs of the people,” he said.

He said the lack of provisions for female participation in politics was a blight on the nation’s future.

“The National Assembly is seeking to create seats for women but instead of saying let us allocate one-third of the seats to women they want to create new seats so the men won’t give up their seats.

“Why can’t we have a provision by INEC to allocate one-third of the seat to national and state assemblies and these are the things we need to do actively and positively to have a bright future,” he said.

He also stated that banditry and kidnapping in Northern Nigeria had set back the education of the girl-child by 50 years and technology needs to bridge the gap.

“Unfortunately, kidnapping and banditry in the North have set girl-child education in the North backward by 40 to 50 years.



    “These are parents who are not going to send their girls to school over security and safety concerns, so how do we use technology to deliver education to girls in their homes,” he said.

    Proposing a virtual-focused educational programme in the North, Sanusi said it would help fast-track the progress of girl-child in the North.

    “Technology makes it easier to take the education to the girl-child than get her parents to risk bringing her out where she can be kidnapped.

    “Where a girl can sit in her father’s home and receive an education, these are things we should be thinking about,” he said.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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