By Kunle Olasanmi
The Middle-Belt Youth Council has condemned the quit notice issued by Arewa Youth Council, calling on Ohaneze Ndigbo to disregard the threat. According to a statement by the President of the council, Emma Zopmal, the council accused the elite in the north of sponsoring the youths to issues the quit order to the Igbos in the north.
The council said the middle-belt region has no problem with the Igbos whho are very enterprising people.
Zopmal said, “We also consider it very unfortunate that Arewa House would grant permission for its premises to be used for a declaration of treason and antithesis to the Nigerian Constitution, which cannot be accepted by any civilized nation. Effectively, their statement amounts a declaration of war against fellow Nigerians, and so, they and their sponsors should be immediately arrested and prosecuted for treason.
“The Middle Belt region of Nigeria has no problem with the Igbos, and we believe it is the same with the other parts of Northern Nigeria. This is because Northerners are living in many parts of the South-East without molestation. “The Igbos are found everywhere, enterprising and prosperous people living peacefully and doing businesses in major towns of the North including among many others like Sokoto, Kano, Jos, Jalingo, Bauchi, Makurdi, Katsina, Minna, etc. But, in an event they decide to go away as a separate entity, Middle Belt is also ready to make an independent statement. God created everywhere and everyone and He gives it to whom He chooses and Middle Belt is a creation of God and not man. Therefore, we choose what to use our land for, how to run it and where we want to be.
Middle Belt has been a home for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South-South and the South-West without any form of discrimination against anyone. “We’ve accommodated every Nigerian for centuries now. We deserve respect and commendations. If the Arewa youths are sending away Igbos from their states, we in the Middle Belt are ready to offer them accommodation in our land (which is an inheritance from God and nobody will take it away from us) for them to continue with their life and businesses. Southern Nigeria people should also know that ‘Middle Belters’ are a people with distinct culture, language, education, economy, and general lifestyle from the Hausa/Fulani. The Biafran struggle did not come as an accident but as a result of injustice and unfair treatment to regions, people or religion.
“Over the years, our federalism has been a fat lie that deprives political rights and freedom of some sections of the country while others benefit immensely from it. Middle Belt has been at the receiving end of this inequitable arrangement in which our people in Southern Kaduna, Southern Bauchi, Southern Borno, Southern Kebbi, Adamawa are under constant alienation and annihilation. Therefore, Middle Belt strongly stands for reconstruction of Nigeria not only restructuring. We’ll join hands with Southern Nigerian people to actualize it”.