Collections of groups and tribal associations’ leaders across the Middle belt region on Thursday said it is no longer part of Hausa-Fulani North.
The coalitions of the groups who came under the umbrella body of Middle-Belt Patriotic Front (MB-PF) yesterday vowed to resist any attempt to evict Igbo people out of the Northern Region.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, the Youth President, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Mr. Nasiru Jagaba, who spoke on behalf of the Middle Belt Patriotic Front comprising of 49 associations, listed the states in the Middle Belt to include,Kwara State, Kogi State, Benue State, Plateau State, Nasarawa State, Taraba State, Niger State. The Federal Capital Territory, as well as the southern parts of Adamawa State, Kaduna State, Kebbi State, Bauchi State, Gombe State, Yobe State.
The group said the states in North Central Nigeria and southern parts of the state mentioned have nothing to do with the north and should not be regarded as such by any group from the North.
According to Jagaba, the people from the zone should be henceforth identified as ‘Middle Belters’ and not northerners.
While condemning the three-month ultimatum handed down by a coalition of Arewa youths to quit the north, they dissociated themselves for the said ultimatum.
He added, “For the avoidance of doubt; any recourse to threaten any of our brothers from other regions will be met with stiff resistance from the Middle-Belt. We also condemn in the strongest terms, the perceived parting on the back by some Arewa so called Elders to these mis-guided Arewa Youths whose conduct is inimical to the peaceful and cooperate existence of this nation.
“Please 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 regions of the country to consider us as Middle-Belters which is our identity,”
The group urged the South-West; South-South and South-East regions to partner with the Middle Belt to see to the restructuring of the country.
Jagaba said, “It is no longer news that the peace, security, prosperity and unity of our beloved country, Nigeria is now badly threatened.
“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 no body in the Northern part has the mandate to speak for us.
“We therefore dissociate ourselves from the infamous so-called ‘’KADUNA DECLARATION of the 6th of June 2017 that demanded the exit of our Igbo brothers and sisters from the Northern parts of Nigeria with a threat to their lives and properties.
The group, condemns what they called perceived support given to the Youths whose conduct is inimical to the peaceful and cooperate existence of this nation by some elders of the region.
“For the avoidance of doubt; any recourse to threaten any of our brothers from other regions will be met with stiff resistance from the Middle-Belt.
“We also condemn in the strongest terms, the perceived parting on the back by some Arewa so called Elders to these mis-guided Arewa Youths whose conduct is inimical to the peaceful and cooperate existence of this nation.
“We call on the global community to take judicial note of the double standards of these Northern Leaders who will scold and call for the arrest of these youth in public but behind the scene they actively support them; which is why several weeks thereafter; no arrest has been made,; rather they are given free backing to make more inflammatory remarks,” said the group.
The group said, the actions of some of the Northern youth and their sponsors are threatening the peace, security, prosperity and unity of Nigeria.
“We believe unjust and unfair handling of affairs in government gave rise to agitations from different parts of the country; and the agitations have never been this deep and strong. It therefore, behooves on a responsible government to address the basis for these agitations.
“The Middle-Belt has been turned into a theater of undeclared war by both Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen. Their reign of murder and terror on our people and the southern regions of the Country has continued unchallenged,” the group added.