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From the Archives: CALLING MIDDLE-BELT GOVERNORS

Submission by: Middle-Belt Progressive Movement

In consideration of the current political situation in the country and the need to properly articulate the position and interest of the people of the Middle-Belt Region, it has become necessary to alert the Governors of the region of the malignant cogs in the wheel of our progress.

It should be recalled that, at the advent of States creation, in 167, a body known as the Interim Common Services Agency (ICSA) was established ostensibly to manage the common assets of the States of the defunct Northern Region of Nigeria. Although, the agency wound up in 1970, a more sinister arrangement was substituted whereby the Governors of the so-called North meets regularly to discuss some assumed issues of common interest.

Experience has shown that, both the ICSA and the Northern governors’ meetings were clever political devices to perpetrate the subjugation of the helpless people of the Middle-Belt. If not, what benefit have accrued to the Middle-Belt through the New Nigerian Development Company (NNDC), Northern Nigeria Investment Ltd (NNIL), Bank of the North (BON), the New Nigerian Newspapers (NNN)?

These outfits are maintained through public funds for the purpose of stilling the growth and development of the Middle-Belt and not for their commercial viability or profits.

For instance, the conquest of the Middle-Belt was made total by the Murtala Administration when people loyal to the Hausa/Fulani North were made to govern and milk the good people of the Middle-Belt in the name of ‘unity.’ Or, how else do we explain the fact that the New Nigerian Newspaper remains at the newsstand, in spite of its un-newsworthiness, and papers established by Middle-Belt States such as the Nigerian Standard, the Herald and the Voice are epileptic or dead?

We hereby make an urgent call on the governors of the Middle-Belt states to stop attending useless meetings of the so-called “Northern States,” which they don’t belong.

They should spare the poor tax-payers of the Middle-Belt the reckless waste of public funds that go into the so-called “19 Governors’ Meetings.” Instead, the Middle-Belt Governors should channel such funds to solving the dire and urgent needs of the struggling people of the Middle-Belt through a summit of Middle-Belt leaders where such needs are best addressed and redressed.

In the same vein, Middle-Belt Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, States House of Assemblies are hereby called upon to set up Middle-Belt-caucus in the various Houses of Legislature to articulate and pursue the same objectives. Motions and Bills for the emancipation of the Middle-Belt Region consistent with the Federation should be sponsored accordingly.  

Traditional Rulers and Chiefs of the Middle-Belt are reminded of the suffering, cheating and enslavement of our people over the years. They are, therefore, advised to desist from attending slavish meetings of the so-called “Northern Emirs and Chiefs,” which are designed to portray us as modern-day slaves.

Why consulting with people, who reject and betray us at every twist and turn? Why discuss with people, who will stab you to death from behind at the slightest opportunity?

Many of our people were killed each time the Hausa/Fulani zealots are seized by violent hiccups. These satanic hiccups has now developed wings with reprisal effects resulting in more killings of the Middle-Belt people in the South-East – a region where our people were hitherto accepted and respected. 

The Middle-Belt Progressive Movement wishes to make it crystal clear that, slavery is evil and was abolished over a century ago. Those, who still wish to enslave others, are warned that the good people of the Middle-Belt have come of age and will deal ruthlessly with political slave-traders, be they traitors or aggressors.

Having been forced to serve the Hausa/Fulani for so long, we have only poverty to show for it and were never really trusted, accepted or assimilated. We are, therefore, no longer content with being ‘Acting Assistant Deputy Hausas.’

It is in that despicable garb that our people were slaughtered in the South-East recently when the Igbos wanted to pay the Hausas in their own coins. All should hear it loud and clear that, we are ethnic nationalities of the Middle-Belt Region of Nigeria; we are not Middle-Belt of the North but of Nigeria.  

As responsible and enlightened people, we have so far succeeded in restraining the vibrant youths of the Middle-Belt from excessive reaction against real and perceived marginalization of the region.

We shall continue to do so for as long as it is necessary. However, no one should hold the illusion that human patience can be held in abeyance forever. No one gains from organized violence except those whose industry is looting and thievery. Enough of religious pretence and political arrogance! Enough of unprofitable acquiescence by Middle-Belt political and traditional leaders!!

Enough is enough!!!

By the Exco Committee of the Middle-Belt Progressive Movement,

Representing Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa, Niger, Taraba, Adamawa & Gombe States, FCT and Southern Bauchi, Southern Borno, Southern Kaduna and Southern Kebbi States of Nigeria.

D.I.G. P.L. DABUP, CFR, NPM, Mni. (Rtd)                       B.T. IORNUM, MBA, BSc., MIMC CHAIRMAN                                                              SECRETARY

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