Some groups from the Middle Belt declared on Thursday that they were not part of Northern Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, the Youth President, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Mr. Nasiru Jagaba, who spoke on behalf of the Middle Belt Patriotic Front, made up of 49 associations, listed the states in the Middle Belt as Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba, Niger.
He also listed the Federal Capital Territory, southern parts of Adamawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Bauchi, Gombe, and Yobe states as components of the Middle Belt.
Jagaba said the people from the zone should be identified as ‘Middle Belters’ and not northerners.
He said, “Please let the world be advised that the Middle-Belt is not part of the North and nobody has our mandate to speak for us. We call on other geopolitical zones of the country to consider us as Middle-Belters which is our identity.”
Jagaba urged the South-West, South-South and South-East geopolitical zones to partner the Middle Belt to ensure the restructuring of the country.
He said, “It is no longer news that the peace, security, prosperity and unity of our beloved country, Nigeria is now badly threatened.
“Therefore, we the people of the Middle Belt of Nigeria comprising Kwara State, Kogi State, Benue State, Plateau State, Nasarawa State, Taraba State, Niger State, the Federal Capital Territory, the southern parts of Adamawa State, Kaduna State, Kebbi State, Bauchi State, Gombe State, Yobe State and Borno State wish to lend our united voice behind the Middle-Belt Forum and other affiliate groups to the following:
“We, the people of the Middle Belt of Nigeria, wish to let the world know that we are not a part of northern Nigeria and nobody in the northern part has the mandate to speak for us.
“We therefore dissociate ourselves from the infamous so-called ‘Kaduna Declaration’ of the 6th of June 2017 that demanded the exit of our Igbo brothers and sisters from the northern part of Nigeria with a threat to their lives and properties.
“We commend recent moves by the Federal Government under the leadership of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to nip this challenge in the bud and we call on all Nigerians and those living in Nigeria to support the Federal Government to not only restore peace but to move Nigeria to greater heights.” (Punch)