BY MOHAMMED ASKIRAMA
First Republic Minister and Chairman, Northern Elders Forum, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule has called for determination, commitment and prayers from both the government and the citizens to salvage the country from the present socio-economic challenges.
Speaking to Newsroomnigeria in his Unity Road office Kano, on Monday, the elder statesman described the current government as sincere in its effort to rebuild the country. He traced the nation’s current travails to greed, selfishness and corruption on the part of the leaders and the led.
“Nigeria has no reason to be poor, but because of greed, selfishness and massive corruption today, Nigerians are not only suffering but are finding it difficult to have three square meals in a day despite our vast resources as a nation,”
Sule revealed that he was very poor when the military sacked the government he served in the second republic.
“When our government I mean the Shagari’s Government was toppled, I had to borrowed money from a friend to enable me travel to Kano from Lagos because I was nothing in my account. Our philosophy then was service to the nation and not what the nation will give us.
“For God sake if what we are hearing from EFCC about monies looted by Nigerians, one will wonder if some people truly believe that when we die we are going to give account before God.
“It is so embarrassing when you hear that a public servant stole trillions, some even collected the money direct from the Central Bank under the Central Bank Governor who is appointed base on trust,” he said.
Sule, acclaimed orator and diplomat, in 1976, became the Federal Commissioner of public complaints, a position that made him the nation’s pioneer ombudsman. In early 1979, he was a presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria but lost to Shehu Shagari. He was appointed Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations after the coming of civilian rule in September 1979.
After, the re-election of President Shagari in 1983 Sule was made the Minister for National Guidance, a portfolio designed to assist the president in tackling corruption.