MEMBERS of the youth wing of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has declared that the north central geo-political zone will never be part of northern Nigeria and will continue to fight for the liberation of its people.
Over recent years, controversy has raged over the identity of Nigeria’s Middle Belt as the bulk of the people who live in its six states are not Hausa or Fulani. With the country reeling under attacks from armed Fulani cattle herdsmen, middle belters have borne the brunt of this violence as their farms and communities have been brutally attacked with thousands murdered in cold blood.
Made up of Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states, Nigeria’s Middle Belt is populated mainly by minority Christian ethnic groups. These include the Nupe, Gwari, Idoma, Tiv, Bachana, Langtang, Ibirra, Igala, Jukun, Agatu, Angas, Berom, etc, who demand an independent identity to the Fulani-propagated one normally pit forward on behalf of the whole of northern Nigeria.
Yesterday, the MBF youth wing noted that there is no sense in continuing being together with the north. It added that northern Nigeria persistently seeks their total destruction and annihilation by abetting the invasion of their communities, raping their women, killing, maiming and displacing their people into internally displaced persons (IDP) camps for the sole purpose of taking over their ancestral lands and enslaving their people.
Emmanuel Zopmal, the national leader of the youth wing made the point while responding to an interview granted by a retired police commissioner Alhaji Abubakar Tsav. In the interview, Alhaji Tsav had thrown caution to the wind and claimed that the Middle Belt cannot be separated from the core north.
Mr Zopmal said: “We are not surprised at Tsav’s position, having traced his antecedents of mental slavery to the core northern oligarchy. Sadly, our discovery shows that Tsav rose to the position he occupied within the police force through such sycophancy and betrayal of his people all through, so it is therefore not surprising that, even in his old age, he has demonstrated that indeed old habits never die.
“Ordinarily, we would not have bothered to comment on Tsav’s baseless claims. However, for the purpose of putting the record straight, we wish to remind him that he is the least competent to comment on the affairs of the Middle Belt as he has never at any time acknowledged himself as a member of the forum, nor has he shown any impact or contribution towards the course of the Middle Belt struggle.
“On the contrary, his posture has always been that of a spoiler and an adversarial collaborator who is always in a hurry to execute the agenda of his paymasters to the detriment of the Middle belt People. For the avoidance of doubt, let it be sounded loud and clear to Tsav and his paymasters that the Middle Belt Region is never and will never be part of the north.”
He added that the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 only coerced ethnic nationalities of different regions into a nation called Nigeria. Mr Zopmal called on members of the public to disregard the ranting of Alhaji Tsav, who has a penchant of being the mouthpiece of the oppressors and detractors of the Middle Belt people.
“We also need to remind Tsav and other detractors of the Middle Belt movement that the Middle Belt identity is as old as the Nigerian nation. If the former police commissioner is a good student of history, he ought to be conversant with the factors that necessitated the constitution of the Willink Commission and the recommendations thereof,” Mr Zopmal added.