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The Pioneers of Middle-Belt Region

By our Correspondent.

The prevailing political climate in the country has empowered renewal awareness among the people of the Middle-Belt Region, who should be involved in fighting for the actualization of the 2014 National Conference Report, or to fight for the Ethnic Nationalities Conference, in spite of empty threats from men and women in government, who are benefiting from the wrong system.

One could only kill someone with an idea but cannot kill the idea with him. The light and dawn of liberty will continue to be rekindled, never to be extinguished. To God be the glory.

The article you are now reading is part of the resurgence of that spirit of freedom and liberty. For some decades, people in the Middle-Belt Region have suffered and still suffering from inconceivable neglect. To back with salient facts, the genocide that is taking place in Southern Kaduna and other Christian-dominated areas, particularly in the Middle-Belt Region is completely unacceptable.

What we are experiencing, today, are the activities of imported foreign Fulanis by the administration to Islamize the country, a plan by Buhari administration decades ago. That is why the President has not opened his mouth to denounce the killing; it is part of the master grand plan, and he will not succeed, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

DRIVE FOR UNITY

In the present 21st Century, we abhor violence as a means of seeking redress as much as it lies in our power and to seek peace and pursue it even, if it costs trials and tribulations. The end-in-view to this non-violent posture is to maintain the political unity of the Middle-Belter and to enhance the economic growth of the people of the region in particular.

The Region is as a body with many parts, with each part playing its necessary and vital role for the health and well-being of the whole body. Tribes, tongues and faith may differ, but our goals and aspirations are the same – to liberate and develop our people and lands; also, to stretch forth hands of fellowship to other groups from across its length and breadth.

We are resolved to fashion, nurture and sustain separate but decent identities for ourselves. To these aspirations we commend same to you. The task we set for ourselves has not been an easy one. There are traitors and saboteurs both amongst us and from our oppressors. We should not be deterred at all, as a decent future is the reward of the just.

The election that brought in the present administration was funded by stolen money of the people. The men running the government are religious bigots making one-sided appointments and pretending to be fighting corruption. The country is more divided than ever before along ethnic, religious and cultural lines, and we are experiencing the worst nepotism ever seen in the country.

Middle-Belters have been deliberately marginalized and lack the economic patronage. They should organize themselves and be cohesive to gain political power, which has deprived them from so many years of political and economic gains through victimization by the defunct Northern Region. They should not confine themselves to only Protest Politics.

Middle-Belters are blessed with treasure of distinguished retired elders and leaders, who are ever ready to back-up the younger generations of men and wmen in the self-determination struggle. The Middle-Belt Forum is there for them to tap their wealth of experience as a deliberate effort to carry along all level segments of the Middle-Belt societies and to work as a team to put their common interests and agendas above other considerations.

Land is the base upon which the economic activities are predicated and to dispose them of their farmlands and homesteads is tantamount to depriving them of their livelihood. It has become abundantly clear that the indigenous youths, men and women have been seriously short-changed by this administration. The youth should not allow themselves to be or play the roles of spectators.

Where are the pioneers of Middle-Belters such as: Pastor David Lot, Patrick Dokatri, Prince Bitrus Wrang Pam, Da Vom, Hyacinth Gogwin, Chief Solomon Lar, Dr Alexander Vom, Evangelist Paul Gindiri, J.D. Gomwalk, Gabriel Gapsuk, George Hoomkwap, John Kadiya, Akubaka Isandu, Sen Venmak Dangin, HRH Wrang Pam, BongGwom Jos and many others, all from Plateau?

In case of Benue, the frontline fighters were:  J.S. Tarka, Tor Tiv, Dr Paul Unongo, Isaac Shaahu, Iyorchia Ayu, Sen Joseph Waku, Atom Kpera, Mvendaga Jibo, Dan Agbese, Ochi-Idoma and many others. The present Governor of Benue State is  fighting a war of liberation and, so, all sons and daughters of the Middle-Belt should queue behind and support him so as to show the present evil federal government that he is not alone fighting the war of liberation of the people.

What is happening in Southern Kaduna is ethnic genocide. The economic and political deprivation of the people of Southern Kaduna ethnic nationalities is a designed policy by the administration. It is a plan for political marginalization being perpetrated by an established power elite that enjoys a preponderance of political power over the Southern Kaduna ethnic nationalities, and it has continually used this power to threaten their security. This will not succeed, in the Name of Jesus. The Middle-Belters are solidly behind their struggle.

The concept of democracy must not start with one-man-one-vote but with inter-ethnic equity and social justice for all its nationalities, and a concept, which is embraced by HRH Gwamna Awan, who was in his days the longest serving Monarch in the State. He was deprived of his right and priviledges and was entitled to a position of First-class Chief, which the powers that be victimized him until after so many years.

Gen. Zamani Lekwot was made a sacrificial lamb. Bishop Matthew Kukah, an activist; Rev Dr Musa Asake, Sen Haruna Aziz, Secretary Peter Buba, the Chief of Kwoi and many others are still in the struggle, which will continue until Gurara State is created.

In Southern Borno, their marginalization and victimization have been similar to other ethnic groups in the Middle-Belt Region. The people of Southern Borno, for 37 years or over, have made request for the creation of Savannah State out of the defunct North-Eastern State.

The request was first submitted to Justice Irikefe Panel. The result of National Conference of 2014 recommended the creation of the State; but it was not created. The political activists in that state remain passionate and resolute in their pursuit. The fore-runners are: Elder Paul Bassey a political activist; Alex Mshelia a political activist, a scientist and Captain of Industry; Col. Andrawus Sawa; Sen Ali Ndume and so many others. These are still actively struggling for the realization of their dreams.

The ethnic groups in Southern Bauchi have been consigned to playing the role of spectators, particularly those, who opted to stay in Bauchi when part of the people opted to merge with Plateau, under the political activist like Azi Nyako.

In Kwara State, people like Chief J.S. Olawoyi, Chief C.O. Adebayo’s belief that they could not shrink from their responsibilities. Both of them foresaw what changes the times were about to bring forth. It goes to show that the very essence of leadership is to have vision. That part of the state is agitating for a separate State or be merged with their kith-and-kin in Yoruba area.

As a developing country, its weakness ranges from manipulation by the elite, corruption, poor economy, ethnicity/tribalism and lack of democracy. Because of these drawbacks, which contribute to a worsening political and economic situation, Prof Jerry Gana and Sarah Jibrin Niger State saw these early enough in Niger State and did not hide their feelings. Both are still struggling for the creation of a state for Nupe nationalities.

In Kogi State, the awareness created by the struggle for balance of power to make progress in order to realize the full potentials of their people brought to forefront the following people, who realized this early enough; and the need to correct this was like a burning fire in their hearts. People like Joseph Ohiani, Kokori-Abdul, Peter Achimugu, Chief Ajayi Oba of Kabba, Sen Dino Melaye, Chief Sam Onimisi, Sen Sam Adeyemi, the Attah of Igala, the Ohinoyi of Igbira and so many others are equally still in the struggle.

During the plebiscite of 1960-62, the Northern Cameroon in former Gongola State voted massively to join their relatives in the Cameroon. But Sardauna (then Premier of the defunct North) promised them a region of their own, and then named it “Sardauna Province.”

During the creation of States by the various military regimes, Amana State was not carved out of the present Adamawa State. That was a betrayal of trust. In addition, because the military is an arm of the Caliphate and was and still dancing to the tune of the drum of the Caliphate, Amana State was, therefore, not created. That was a plan to maintain their marginalization policy.

People like Dr Bala Takaya and Amb Juta believed in the concept of federalism at all levels of government. They both believed that this political formula would address Nigeria’s historical and ethnological circumstance; and both believed in the struggle for self-determination.

Among the people in the struggle for self-determination in that area are the likes of Elder Rev Aledeino, Dr Bala Takaya, Edmund Mamisa, Amb Juta, Hon Dominic Mapeo of Genye, Commr Dan Sulaiman, Chief of Numan, and Chief Philip of Gurumpawa – a political activist, who went to prison so many times because of his agitation for creation of the state.

Similar problems of marginalization are being experienced in Zuruland. The Zuru people are fighting to preserve the right and to protect and maintain their separate identity as an ethnic group. Some of the people in the front-line of self-determination struggle in Kebbi State, inclusive of Chief Nathanael Zome, Chief Ben Dikki, and so many others, in spite of the intimidation, are still active in the struggle.

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