JOS/Nigeria: The National Leadership of the Middle Belt Youth Council, comprising over 400 ethnic nationalities expressed dissatisfaction with the level of hate-filled speeches by some misguided groups of people and even government.
Addressing a press conference, its President, Emma Zopmal said: “Every part of the country or group of people has the right to demand what will protect the interest of its people. This trend of sad development came as a result of government’s failure to address some fundamental socio-economic, geographical and political issues challenging our common existence as a nation.
“The Nigerian government has been so insensitive to the security threats of our people over the years. Ever since the killings of our people started by Fulani herdsmen, Federal Government of Nigeria has never set up a special security committee, to find a way of addressing this existential threat. It only focuses its attention on oil and gas revenue bases in the south and fulfills the political demands of the Arewas at all times.
“In this regard, the government has shown high level of discrimination against the Middle Belt people and also pretends nothing is happening here. We wish to remind our good friends from the South that they should remain focused on the fight for restructuring other than any cosmetic surgery to our national problem.
“We urge the Federal Government to immediately set up a special expert security committee, including our communities and the Middle Belt Youth Council, to put an end to this menace if it really means tackling it.”
Zopmal said the Middle Belt region would not take a step back on restructuring and would immediately usher in a demand for referendum if restructuring fails. “We know that the Arewas are comfortable with the present system because it benefits them more than any part of Nigeria. Therefore, they remain an obstacle to it instead of finding a common ground to find a lasting solution to this national problem. Their position has always been ‘We Say No’ to this and that in every national discourse. This is not in any way solving problems but making it worse.
“We want to inform President Muhammadu Buhari that restructuring is not a decision of the Council of State or the National Assembly but it is a people’s decision. The whole of the South, Middle Belt, and some progressive far Northerners are fully in support of it. It will even be a credit to Mr. President and All Progressives Congress (APC) government if they allow it to happen, or else it will happen in spite of them,” he said.