Following the arrest of some Northern youths in Lagos state recently, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNGs) said it has concluded plans to ensure that all job opportunities in the North that have been unduly monopolised by southerners are reclaimed and restored appropriately.
The coalition, through its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Sulaiman, therefore, said it would unveil a portal for the registration of all employable northern youths, their states of origin, educational qualifications and skills.
In a statement on Sunday to react to the recent development in Lagos and Rivers states, the coalition said it observed that except for a few northern political leaders like Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, all federal and state authorities, the entire political, religious and cultural establishments in the North were silent on the Rivers and Lagos affairs.
The CNGs also observed that “We observe that northerners face all sorts of humiliation and rejection like the latest incident in Lagos, because they are forced to seek alternative opportunities by the following realities: The bulk of opportunities meant for northerners in the North has been inadvertently taken up by people from the South.
“While northerners are denied the opportunity of employment to even the most menial of jobs in the South, all vacant positions available in the North as guaranteed by the local content clause of the federal character provision have been surrendered to southerners.
“Whereas the local content clause stipulates that all levels 01 to 06 positions in every private establishments must go to indigenes of the host communities, in the North the reverse is the case.
“Thus almost every position in almost all the various banking and financial institutions, insurance houses, telecom agencies, educational institutions and other private concerns spread all over the North are taken over by southerners at the expense of indigenous communities.
“Sadly, even vacancies in public institutions and all government agencies and parastatals including several state and local government establishments in the North are occupied mainly by people of other regions.”
The coalition, however, demanded from the federal government proof of its capacity to protect citizens in Katsina, Kaduna and many parts of the North as minimum evidence that it is serious about its responsibilities.
“We warn that failure to bring about an immediate end to the violence ravaging the North will confirm fears that the region has been abandoned by the authorities, in which event communities will be left with the only option of taking steps to protect themselves.
“We demand that the federal government, northern governors and legislators take immediate steps to reassert the rights of every Nigerian to practice the religion of his choice anywhere, and to draw the attention of Governor Woke to the consequences of repudiating the nation’s secular”
It also resolved that it will open a portal to obtain comprehensive statistics of all existing private establishments in the North including insurance houses, banking and financial institutions, educational institutions, telecom agencies and so on, with a view to seeking the review of the regional composition of their staffing to ensure compliance with the local content provision.
“Approaching all northern governors, federal and state legislators, local government councils and traditional institutions to ensure total compliance with the local content provision in every sector all over the North.
“Taking steps to ensure that henceforth, indigenous contractors get preference in the award of all government contracts in all parts of the North.
“Drawing the attention of state governments and local government councils in the North that it will no longer be tolerable to use resources meant for the North to empower other regions through the practice of engaging non-indigenous consultancy services.
“Taking steps to ensure that henceforth, all such consulting needs by northern governments are awarded to professionals in our universities and other professional institutions as a means of empowerment and job creation for our youth.
“The CNG calls on all categories of northerners to note and reject any offer by those political leaders whose personal political ambitions overshadow their patriotism to the region, including those who endorse the humiliation of northerners with their silence and choosing to please other regions at the expense of the North in the pretext of nationalism.”