A Pro Northern group has described the decision of President Ahmed Tinubu to suspend the N-Power programme as ill-timed, retrogressive, injurious and capable of worsening the fragile security situation in Northern Nigeria.
The group known as ProActive Northern Initiatives (PANI) has called for immediate sacking of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Betta Edu for her hasty and anti masses decision to suspend the social intervention programme it said provided succour to millions of Nigerian households and northerners in particular.
It was made known in press conference held in arewa house, Kaduna by Comrade Isa Aliyu Musa as convener of the Pan Northern group listed several gains and achievements of the N-Power which it noted had benefitted over 800,000 youth in 19 northern states to include; poverty alleviation, skill acquisition, job opportunities, prevention of youth restiveness, even distribution of the nation’s wealth among others.
Comrade Musa eulogized leadership skills, patriotism, accountability and zeal to serve of the former minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Sa’adiya Umar Farooq under whose supervision he disclosed the past administration was able to initiate and successful implement several social intervention and poverty alleviation programmes, including; conditional cash transfer to vulnerable households, school feeding and empowerment programmes.
He said the former minister had in collaboration with international relief agencies provided food and essential materials to internally displaced persons due to banditry, insurgency, flooding and other natural disasters.
The convener added that enrolment in primary schools and access to education increased astronomically due to the school feeding programme of Mrs. Farooq who personally went round to monitor progress of the initiative which he noted received wide commendations within the country and abroad.
“Healthy feeding by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers was another giant feat promoted by former minister Sa’adiya Umar Farooq through provision and distribution of food supplements and lectures on how to promote good health and hygiene environment.
“We expect the present administration to focus on expanding the programme for effectiveness so that more youth and households will be captured as beneficiaries.
“But instead the Tinubu administration outrightly suspended the programme with such haste without weighing the repercussion of such an ill-timed action that is capable of throwing several of our youth and dependants into idleness and difficulties.
“We believe suspending the programme will further worsen the precarious security situation in the north and expose our disengaged youth to the danger of potential tools of possible recruitment by insurgents and bandits,” he lamented.
The group wondered why the north which gave the present administration the highest votes with which it rode to power should be targeted by several policies and decision taken so far in the past three months, including the suspension of the N-Power and other unpopular actions meant to impoverish the masses in the region.
While calling for the immediate sacking of Minister of Humanitarian and Poverty Alleviation Betta Edu and others in the present federal cabinet for undermining the will of the people, the group urged President Tinubu to reverse the hasty decision and be sensitive to the feelings of the northerners.