- Middle Belti reject northern identities
Threats to Nigeria’s integration have continued to increase since the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari. The ravaging bandits who succeeded the Boko Haram terrorists and the killer herdsmen have been making northern Nigeria ungovernable. The President has in his wisdom to contain the troubling violence and breakdown of law and order, reportedly considered executive order to withdraw gun licenses from all citizens. The decision has generated deeper inter-ethnic suspicions and distrust across the country, with insinuations of fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria by the President. The rising distrusts have culminated into ethnic galvanization and mobilization for regional and zonal defence structure for self-defence, including balkanization of the goe-political zones.
National Daily recall that various group from the Middle Belt, comprising of the north central and southern North West and north east, had previously met in Kaduna, Kaduna State, where they declared that they are not part of Northern Nigeria.
National Daily learned that the Youth President, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Nasiru Jagaba, had on behalf of the Middle Belt Patriotic Front, comprising of 49 associations, at a press conference in Kaduna, listed the states in the Middle Belt as Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba, Niger; including the Federal Capital Territory, southern Adamawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Bauchi, Gombe, and Yobe states as components of the Middle Belt. These are entities that spread across the Plateau, Benue basin into the Adamawa Mountains.
National Daily learned that Jagaba declared that people from these entities should be identified as ‘Middle Belters’ and not northerners.
“…let the world be advised that the Middle Belt is not part of the North and nobody has our mandate to speak for us. We call on other geopolitical zones of the country to consider us as Middle Belters which is our identity,” he said.
Jagaba appealed to the South West, South-South and South East geopolitical zones to partner with the Middle Belt in advocating for the restructuring of the country.
“It is no longer news that the peace, security, prosperity and unity of our beloved country, Nigeria is now badly threatened.
“Therefore, we the people of the Middle Belt of Nigeria comprising of Kwara State , Kogi State , Benue State , Plateau State, Nasarawa State, Taraba State, Niger State, the Federal Capital Territory, the southern parts of Adamawa State, Kaduna State, Kebbi State, Bauchi State, Gombe State, Yobe State and Borno State wish to lend our united voice behind the Middle Belt Forum and other affiliate groups to the following :
“We , the people of the Middle Belt of Nigeria , wish to let the world know that we are not a part of northern Nigeria and nobody in the northern part has the mandate to speak for us.”
Meanwhile, the fear of genocide has continued to spread across Nigeria like the Australia Wild Fire.