The youth wing of the Middle Belt Forum has said the concept of the Middle Belt as an entity is beyond forced political marriage orchestrated by misguided individuals.
The youth group was reacting to the position of one-time Commissioner of Police Alhaji Abubakar Tsav claiming that the ‘Middle Belt cannot be separated from the core North.’
They said Tsav’s claim “insulted the collective sensibilities of the leadership and people of the Middle Belt Region”, and further describes the ex- police boss’ statement as display of “sycophancy and betrayal of his people.”
A statement signed by the youth leader, Emmanuel Zopmal, reads in part:The concept of the Middle Belt is beyond Tsav and his paymasters. After all, we have gone past this stage.
“To put the records straight, Tsav and his ilk should know too well that the amalgamation of 1914 only coerced ethnic nationalities of different regions into a nation called Nigeria.
“Over 100 years after, it is clear that this unity must be renegotiated for us to appreciate and mutually respect our diversities where justice, equity and fairness will be upheld or we go our separate ways. Tsav is too small to wish for a forced union that is hinged on abuse and illegality.
“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.
“However, if he is not conversant with this history, we advise him to seek help and be properly schooled by those that are knowledgeable, provided he has not yet slipped into a state of senility”, the statement said adding that “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.
“There is no sense in continuing being together with a people who persistently seek our total destruction and annihilation by abetting the invasion of our communities, raping our women, killing, maiming and displacing our people into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps for the sole purpose of taking over our ancestral lands and enslaving our people.”