By Ben Agande
Kaduna – A group, Middle Belt Patriotic Front has dissociated itself from the three months quit notice issued by a coalition of Arewa Youths to Igbo living in the northern part of the country, saying that it does not want to be associated with the north.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna Wednesday, the group said states in the North-Central region as well as southern parts of Kaduna, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe and Adamawa states should not be categorized as belonging to Northern Nigeria.
Spokesman of the group, Nasiru Jagaba said as a key region in the country which paid heavily in fighting for the unity of Nigeria, it cannot fold its arms and watch events degenerate into another civil war and dissociated the Middle Belt from the recent call by some youths in the north on Igbos to leave 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 patting 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,’ he said.
While reiterating it’s support for the restructuring of the country, the group called on the South-West; South-South and South-East regions to partner with it to see to the restructuring of the country saying unless it becomes totally inevitable it strongly supports a united Nigeria that is restructured for the common good of all its federating units.
He said the current hostility among groups in the country would have ceased if the Hausa – Fulani community in the country had exploited the communication network in the region.
He accused the present administration of double standard by turning blind eyes to the killings being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen.
“Another case-in-point is the clear double standards exhibited by this Government that did nothing when thousands of Christians in the States of Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Southern Borno, Southern Kaduna and parts of Southern Nigeria were brutally murdered by the Fulani herdsmen during almost a decade of a killing spree; but were quick to send a strong military contingent within a week to Taraba state when it was alleged that a few of these same murdering Fulani herdsmen had been killed in the state. This speaks volumes of Government’s body language.”
“The Middle-Belt has been turned into a theater of undeclared war by both Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen (globally adjudged to be the 1st and 4th deadly terror groups in the world).
“Their reign of murder and terror on our people and the southern regions of the Country has continued unchallenged, while the government of the day, which is well disposed to contain them has instead protected them; thus creating a deep mistrust from all other regions of the country against the far northern regions” he said.