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MIDDLE-BELT OPINION – THE WAY FORWARD

  1. Formation of an umbrella body to co-ordinate the activities of the existing Middle-Belt associations and serve as the authoritative organ of the entire region.
  2. Formation of ethnic associations by the various ethnic groups of the Belt to serve as branches of the above umbrella organisation.
  3. Formation of Women and Youth associations as wings of the above umbrella body.
  4. Rejection of the present geo-political configuration of North-East, North-West and North-Central as it tends to scatter and disintegrate the Middle-Belt region as conceived by the people.
  5. Recognition of the composition of the Middle-Belt as conceived by the people and the recognition of all ethnic nationalities in the Middle-Belt, in particular, and the country as a whole in the constitution.
  6. The adoption of multiple political parties’ democracy, which should go beyond the present three parties system; and the abolition of conditionalities given for the registration of political parties.
  7. Recognition of all political parties or associations that want to seek elective positions, whether they are ethnic, religious, sectional or ideological base.
  8. The Feature House of Representatives should comprise representatives from each of the ethnic nationalities that have been identified by the constitution. The States Houses of Assembly should comprise members from the various ethnic nationalities that made up the state. In the same way, Local Councils should be made up of elected councilors from the various ethnic nationalities that make up the local council.
  9. State INEC should be dissolved as they will serve only the narrow interests of State Governors.
  10. Restructuring of the country and the adherence to the principle of true Federalism.
  11. Appropriate machinery should be put in place to redress the present situation of economic and political marginalization of the Middle-Belt.
  12. The Middle-Belt supports resource control only in the sense that it should be preceded by retrospective reparation by way of compensating the past losses of the region so that with such proceeds, the region can take off independently.
  13. Rejection of the 1999 constitution wholesale.
  14. Rejection of Sharia and all forms of religious laws beyond the secularity of the Nigerian state as enshrined in the constitution.
  15. The establishment of Vigilante groups both at village and town levels for the security of lives and property and prevention of vandalization of public amenities.
  16. The people of the Middle-Belt should be known and referred to as Middle-Belters and not Middle-Beltans.
  17. Middle-Belt Governors should renounce their membership of the Northern Governors Association and form an association of Middle-Belt Governors.
  18. Middle-Belt chiefs should disengage from the Northern Emirs and Chiefs Association and form Middle-Belt Chiefs Association.
  19. Repatriation of the Middle-Belt shares in all Northern Nigerian companies and ventures and their re-investment in Middle-Belt companies and ventures.
  20. Middle-Belt Governors and leaders should ensure that we fill up our quota in the Fed Civil Service and other Federal organs.

Culled from: Middle-Belt Progressive Movement – 1st June, 2001

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