Mr. Maku said the North must wake up to the new political reality in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in Kaduna on Tuesday said President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was the best thing to have happened to the North since the Yakubu Gowon government that ended in 1975.
Mr. Maku said this in Kaduna during a town hall meeting organised as part of National Good Governance Tour of Kaduna State.
“There has been a denial, a political denial that President Goodluck Jonathan is not developing the North.
“And there has been an agenda of deceit and propaganda, which is carried out mainly by people and political opinions in some quarters in the north that continuously want to deny the imprint of this administration.
“The truth is that, never since Gowon days have you seen the Federal Government that is impacting significantly in the development of the North as President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration,” he said.
The minister challenged those “with contradictory view” to a debate, saying he would back his assertion with facts.
“We have gone round a number of Northern states; we have been to Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina and we are now in Kaduna state, the political headquarters of the old Northern Region.
“And in all the places we have gone, the evidence is very clear, contrary to those who believe that we are into partisan politics and not discussing the development of the north.
“The evidence is clear that the Yar’Adua/Jonathan’s presidency, since 2007 has placed the development of the north in the uppermost part of its own attention,” he said.
According to him, it is not only a northern president that can develop the region.
Mr. Maku cited examples of projects executed under the Goodluck Jonathan administration as typical example that there was no discrimination in the running of the administration.
“It is not true that only people from the north can develop this region, and at any rate it is no longer possible for the leaders of the country to come only from the north.
“Nigeria has changed, today the story is different. The Presidency will go to every part of Nigeria, whether we like it or not.
“And the earlier the north recognises the reality and plans its development so that whoever is there, let us go with our agenda that person will attend to us.
“Power will reside only in one part of the country, is history. It will not happen because Nigeria has changed, awareness has come.”
He reiterated the commitment of the federal government to develop every part of the country.
He listed some of the major projects undertaken by the Jonathan administration as the dredging of River Niger, construction of bridges, dams and ports, as well as the revitalisation of the rail line and education infrastructure.
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