Emir Sanusi, 2nd right at the birthday celebration of Nasir El-Rufai

Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi ll sounded a warning to northern Nigerian leaders on Monday, saying the region is at the verge of destroying itself, if the leadership attitude does not change.

He spoke at the 60th birthday for Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna.

The outspoken ruler, who was a former governor of the Central Bank, said no leader in Northern Nigeria can afford to be happy with the current situation today with about 87 per cent of poverty in Nigeria being in the region.

He said if the North does not change by tackling some of its social problems it will destroy itself.

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“When we talk about birthday, we talk about happiness. Just last week, someone asked me, are you happy? And I said I am not. And the person was surprised.

Birthday Boy, Nasir El-Rufai

“Nobody who is a leader in the Northern Nigeria today can afford to be happy. You cannot be happy with about 87 per cent of poverty in Nigeria being in the north.

“You can’t be happy with millions of Northern children out of school. You can’t be happy with nine states in the North contributing almost 50 per cent of the entire malnutrition burden in the country.

“You can’t be happy with the drug problem, you can’t be happy with the Boko Haram problem. You can’t be happy with political thuggery. You can’t be happy with all the issues; the Almajiri problem that we have.

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“We have been saying this for 20 to 30 years. If the North does not change, the North will destroy itself. The country is moving on. Quota system that everybody talks about must have a sunset clause.

Emir Sanusi also said the real change in the North will come from those who are considered crazy because when you look around and say if this is the way people have been doing things, and this is where they have ended up, maybe there is the need to do things differently.