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Fri. Apr 3rd, 2020

Reference Daily News

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Middle Belt, Southern Leaders’ Agreement Weary Northern Elders

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We disagree with the idea of the Middle Belt that goes beyond the geographical area of the present North-Central zone

The Northern Elders Forum has revealed their weariness fears over the suspected agreement between some Middle Belt leaders and their Southern counterparts on affairs of national interests, termed it as a risk to northern interests.

The reaction from the Northern elder’s forum transpires what is referred to as a means to separate communities in the Middle-Belt region in the North-Central from decisions and interests of two other zones of the North-West and North-East that formed the old Northern Region of Nigeria.

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According to the statement released in Jos on Monday by the Northern Elders Forum and signed by its Deputy Chairman, North-Central Zone, Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, the forum affirms that the political divisions in the country remained South-West, South-South and South-East for the southern region while the divisions in the North remained North-West, North-East and North- Central.

The forum promised to disturb whatever chance to scatter the existing historical diversity and caution those planning to create discord within the northern region to stop henceforth.

The statement says, “The Northern Elders Forum is concerned that several statements have been credited to persons claiming to be the leaders of the Middle Belt Forum and their friends in the southern part of our country.

    “The statements claim to speak for and on behalf of all citizens and communities in the states of Middle Belt constitutionally known and grouped in the North Central including Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa, Plateau and Benue states.

    “They also seek to distance our communities from those in the two other zones of the North-West and North-East that form the North and suggest that we are effectively part of the communities in former Southern Nigeria made up of Western, Mid-West and Eastern Nigeria in our political disposition.

    “While we share many bonds with other Nigerians from the three southern zones, we wish to emphatically state that we are northerners and have always been so from the creation of Nigeria.

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    “Our history, destiny and mode of life have always been northern, and our region of the Middle Belt is an integral part of the North.

    “We, therefore, reject any attempt to detach our communities from others in the North by contrary interests or identify us with a political disposition which is fictional.

    “We also disagree with the idea of the Middle Belt that goes beyond the geographical area of the present North-Central zone.”

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