A coalition of youth group, under the umbrella body of Middle-Belt Youth Patriotic Front, on Wednesday dissociated itself from the north, saying they are not part of the coalition of Arewa Youths group that gave a quit notice to Igbos residing in northern parts of Nigeria.
Briefing newsmen in Kaduna, the group said the middle-belt states include, Kwara, Kogi, Plateau, Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba, Niger, the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) as well as southern parts of Kaduna; as such, they should not be categorized as belonging to North but Middle-Belt.
Spokesperson of the group, Nasiru Jagaba, said, as key region in the country, it will not watch events unfold and lead into another civil war; hence, any recourse to threaten anyone from other regions will be met with stiff resistance from the Middle-Belt.
He said, “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 parts of Nigeria with a threat to their lives and properties.
“We also condemn in the strongest terms, the perceived patting-on-the-back by some Arewa so-called Elders to these misguided Arewa Youths, whose conduct is inimical to the peaceful and corporate existence of this nation.
“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 regions of the country to consider us as Middle-Belters, which is our identity,” he added.
While reaffirming their support for a united Nigeria, the group said, it strongly supports the restructuring of the country. They, however, called on other regions to partner with it to see to the restructuring of the country.
On hostilities and killings in some parts of Nigeria, the group accused the government of “double standards” by turning blind eyes to the killings being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen.
According to them, “Another case-in-point is the clear double standards exhibited by this Government that did nothing when thousands of Christians in the States of Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Southern Borno, Southern Kaduna and parts of Southern Nigeria were brutally murdered by the Fulani herdsmen, almost a decade of a killing spree; but were quick to send a strong military contingent within a week to Taraba state when it was alleged that a few of these same murdering Fulani herdsmen had been killed in the state. This speaks volumes of Government’s body language.
“The Middle-Belt has been turned into a theater of undeclared war by both Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen (globally adjudged to be the 1st and 4th deadly terror groups in the world).
“Their reign of murder and terror on our people and the southern regions of the country has continued unchallenged, while the government of the day, which is well disposed to contain them, has instead protected them; thus creating a deep mistrust from all other regions of the country against the far northern regions,” the group posited.