Nigeria will remain in crisis until the country is restructured, representatives of Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt, who met in Lagos, last week, said.
The over 200 representatives of ethnic groups also promised to forge a united front against violence and killings being perpetrated against indigenous peoples across the country.
The meeting resolved that it will work with local communities, social and cultural movements in the South and Middle Belt to ensure that the 2019 elections are driven by the need to urgently restructure the country.
The conference was held under the auspices of Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt Development Forum (SNMBDF).
The communique issued at the end of the two day conference established a Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt Working Group charged with the responsibility of sensitising the peoples of the South and Middle Belt towards the immediate restructuring of the country to ensure self actualization.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, second republic senator, Prof. Banji Akintoye, who spoke against the backdrop of alleged ethnic cleansing by herdsmen and militias on the Middle Belt and South, said the emergence of the Southern and Middle Belt solidarity is sending a powerful new message to the killers and destroyers, as well as to the whole world. “The message simply is that any attack on any one of the peoples of the South or Middle Belt is now an attack on all”, he said.
The SNMBDF President, Mr Sidney Imobhio, a lawyer based in New York, said the group was launched two years ago and that it has continued to grow in cities and towns across the South and the Middle Belt. Chief Digifa Werinipre and Comrade Joseph Eva, who represented the Ijaw nation; Mr Isaac Orido, representing Urhobo, and representatives of the Southern East, said they would work hard to ensure a common front is established for the interest of the peoples.
In his remarks, Mr Adewale Adeoye, a journalist and the South West coordinator of the group, said Nigerians need some level of constructive engagements with each other to avoid violence and killings.