A coalition of over 52 ethnic nationalities in 14 states in the Middle-Belt, has rejected the choice of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress’ committee on the restructuring of Nigeria.
The coalition noted that el-Rufai was not qualified to discuss restructuring because he had never supported the idea.
The organisation also supported the alarm raised by the National Christian Elders Forum championed by prominent members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, including Chief Solomon Asemota (SAN) and Gen. T.Y. Danjuma (retd.), of alleged plans to Islamise the country.
Specifically, the coalition said the Middle Belt was “a battle tested and resilient region and our enormous sacrifice so far should not be taken for granted.”
“We stand for peace in the country and have lost so much to the activities of these terrorists and their backers, we should not be pushed to a point we will be forced to recourse to egalitarian balance of terror,” MB-PF said.
The groups under the aegis of the Middle-Belt Patriotic Front, premised their argument on the fact that El-Rufai had never shown any remorse from his previous positions against restructuring and other burning national issues.
The spokesperson for the MB-PF, Yusuf Hamman, who read the position of the coalition at a press conference held on Sunday night in Jos, said the region would not join the North should Nigeria disintegrate.
The text of the press conference was signed by the 52 ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt.
Hamman regretted that even when the Federal Government had the legitimate power to stop all forms of insurgency perpetrated by Boko Haram and Fulani terrorists, it had failed to stop their deadly activities.
He said, “On restructuring, we support the clarion call for the restructuring of Nigeria because the current situation wherein the distribution of state resources and power sharing have been skewed in favour of certain sections of the country, has entrenched injustice and inequality.
“…We remember when he was invited by the National Assembly to come and defend his activities as FCT minister. And he said, ‘yes, I gave lands to my family and friends; you, go and give it to your enemies.’ Is that a patriotic Nigerian? Is that a Nigerian that has passion for peace and development of this country? Is that a Nigerian that we should call upon today and saddle with the responsibility of the agitation to restructure the country? No, Nigeria is not a Chicken Republic.
“This committee of the APC says a lot about how serious it is committed to the Nigerian project. We endorse the recent declaration of our elders that in the event that Nigerian state disintegrates, the Middle Belt will not be an appendage of the North.
“We resolutely stand behind our elders who warned against the ongoing islamisation of the country. If other religions had behaved in a similar manner when in power; the story would have been different in their favour. The secularity of this country will be strongly defended.
“Our tormentors should not forget that we are a battle-tested and resilient region and our enormous sacrifice so far should not be taken for granted. Any disrespect to our elder statesmen and leaders will not be tolerated.”