Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for 2023 general election was interviewed by Arise Television and he made the aforementioned statement that is telling on the state of Nigeria’s polity.
When trying to buttress why he postulates that miracle must be apparent for Peter Obi to win presidency and Obi’s popularity on social media, Atiku said, “But how many votes turned for the Labour Party? And then again, mark you; you’re talking about social media. In the north, 90 percent of our people are not tuned to social media.”
Atiku made a consequential and significant statement on the state of poverty in Nigeria especially in the north. But he never went further to say what to do to ameliorate poverty which is rampant in northern Nigeria. Without computer, internet and social media, it will be nearly impossible for a society to make a progress in 21st century.
According to World Bank report, 87% Nigeria’s poverty rate is in the North.
“The rate of poverty in the Northern region of Nigeria is quite alarming despite the enormous resources the region is endowed. The region has fertile land with varied agricultural products and other resources such as tin, barite, zinc, limestone, columbite, lead and gypsum. Despite these numerous resources, the region has the highest population of people in extreme poverty with violence and high crime rate. These necessitate investigation into the extreme poverty in the region.”
Nine out of the ten poorest states in Nigeria is the north. poverty in Nigeria mostly affect households living in northern Nigeria. “Among those living below the $1.90 poverty line in 2018/19, 84.6 percent lived in rural areas and 76.3 percent lived in the North Central, North East, or North West zones.”
“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing, especially in the North-West zone. Almost half of all the poor lived in the North-West and the North accounts for 87 per cent of all the poor in the country in 2016.”