The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II has cautioned politicians who hide behind the mask of religion to exploit Nigerians, regretting that the North has, in the last two decades, been denied focus due to the politicisation of religion and culture.
This was as he averred that “the most backward and underdeveloped states in Nigeria today are also the same states that claimed to be run based on Sharia. The people seemed satisfied with slogans and pilgrimages that have become jamborees.”
Speaking yesterday while delivering a speech marking International Youth Day and a graduation ceremony at Katsina Vocational Training Centre in Katsina State, he observed that politicians turned religion into a vehicle for campaign, thereby exploiting the religious character and ignorance of the people.
The royal father pointed out that rather than addressing problems in the education and health sectors, governors were busy promising to deliver religion, which led to the underdevelopment of many states.
While arguing that states which placed too much emphasis on religion over development lagged behind in socio-economic milestones, he stated that due to the hype, people in the region stopped demanding the education of their children and healthcare from their leaders.
“There are less than 500,000 pupils in public primary schools in Lagos State and almost three million in Kano State with an estimated one million roaming the streets as beggars. This means that most parents in Lagos State sponsor their children.
“As many people as possible must be given access to education if we are to achieve our human development goals and reduce the security challenges we are facing. One of the easiest ways is to absorb the millions of Quranic School pupils into the formal system.”
The Emir called on government to engage youths through increased investment in agriculture, stressing that “there is urgent need to have clear policy towards this direction; we cannot afford half measures of intervention”.