By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has faulted the position of the Northern Elders Forum that the North would not be supported to accept the restructuring of Nigerian describing the statement as unfortunate and a show of weakness.
The Forum also insisted that the recent ENDSARS protest would in the near future positively impact the entire country.
President of the National President of the MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus who made the assertion on Thursday, in Makurdi in a telephone interview in his reaction to the statements credited to the NEF said the Middle belt did not share in the position of the NEF.
Dr. Bitrus said, “That is a statement that indicates weakness on the part of the North because if any person views any effort to have Nigeria restructured as being against them (North) it is then an unfortunate development which shows weakness.
“That is, they feel that they cannot survive if Nigeria is restructured. It is an unfortunate viewpoint by the North. The North needs to have a wholistic look at Nigeria. Nigerians are not made up of colonizers and colonies.
“We are all partners in this commonwealth and it is high time the North realized it. And any effort to stop the whole of Nigeria from moving forward is going to be met with resistance because Nigerians will not accept such.
“We cannot continue to stay in a skewed system that serves only part of this country where things are not working and yet people want it to remain the way it is.
“What we are saying is that we don’t go that position, the Middle Belt is not going to support them in that. And as far as we are concerned, restructuring is the way forward because Nigeria needs to progress rather than remain stagnant or even retrogress as they want it to.”
On the ENDSARS protest aimed at regime change
“On the issue of ENDSARS protest, I must say that it was a corrective measure which the youths embarked on in favour of all.
“We their leaders and fathers have not been able to do what they did for us. We must thank the youths for doing what they did. At least Nigeria will be better for it for the far-reaching changes that will come after the protest.
“Even our police will be better for it because today the salaries of our police personnel are being improved and the police will be better equipped to do their jobs. Policing in the country will be more of an international standard than what we had before the protests.
“So the ENDSARS thing has achieved a lot. And anybody who saw it as aimed at regime change is not sincere with himself and that is unfortunate.
“It is also unfortunate and retrogressive to think that the President is a northern president. The President is a Nigerian President. When a president wins an election, he is a Nigerian President. He is not an APC or PDP President. It is unfortunate that they see the president as a Northern President.
“It is unfortunate that they are not with us in this federalism we are practicing, they are still practicing sectionalism and we are not going to buy into that. We are going to mainstream Nigeria. The northerners must realize that Nigeria is a united entity and not a North, East, or West kind of entity.”