PIQUED by the generalisation of all states in the northern part of the country as one entity call North, the Association of Middle Belt Ethnic Nationalities (ASOMBEN) said it is wrong to lump Middle Belt with the North saying the old Northern Region and all the other 3 region ceased to exist when General Aguiyi Ironsi abolished them through Decree 34 on 24th May, 1966.
The Acting Chairman of ASOMBEN, Barrister Sule Kwasau who stated this at the association special meeting with 2014 National Conference Delegates in Jos, Plateau State said the erroneous believe that the Middle Belt is part of the larger north should be discarded adding that the people of Middle Belt had since stop addressing themselves as part of the north.
“Whenever people refer to the “North”, they tend to include Middle Belt of Nigeria. We wish to put it on record that the old Northern Region and all the other 3 former regions ceased to exist when General Aguiyi Ironsi abolished them via Decree 34 on 24 the May 1966.
“We therefore do not call ourselves Northerners any more. We either use our constitutional State names now, or we use the North Central zone, which should have been appropriately named the Middle Belt”.
On the ultimatum by some northern youths to the Igbo to relocate from the north within 90 days, the acting chairman of ASOMBEN said what the so-called “Arewa” youths did was tantamount to treason and called on the security agencies to prosecute them accordingly.
Barrister Kwasau said the association strongly believed that restructuring is the best option for solving myriad of problems confronting Nigeria and called for the implementation of the 2014 conference report adding that any attempt to block its implementation should be resisted by all patriotic Nigerians.
On aggression of Fulani herdsmen in some States in the Middle Belt, Barrister Kwasau who said no concrete response from federal government to tame the ugly incident added that no one has deemed it fit to call for the disarmament of the killers.
He implored all states in the Middle Belt to emulate Ekiti and Benue States who had passed anti grazing law and charged Nigerian Police, the Ministry of Interior and the Directorate of State Security to wake up to their responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of Nigeria citizens.