South-South Leaders Denied Landing Permit To Middle Belt Conference
From Msughshima Andrew Makurdi
Leaders of the three major social cultural groups in the southern part of Nigeria were yesterday allegedly denied landing permit to grace the Middle-Belt Conference in Makurdi the Benue state capital.
Chairman of the Middle-Belt Forum, Elders Forum, Air Commandore (rtd) Dan Suleiman who disclosed this while speaker at the 2018 Middle-Belt Mega Rally, which held at the IBB Square in Makurdi said leaders of the social cultural groups, South-South Forum, Ohaneze-ndi-Igbo, Afenifere, were left stranded at the airport for five hours.
According to him, the leaders which were billed to attend the conference in Makurdi converged in Abuja, to board a flight but were left stranded at the airport over the alleged refusal for flight to land in Makurdi.
The three leaders Ayo Adebanjo Afenifere, John Nwodo Ohaneze-ndi-Igbo and Edwin Clarke, however, made a live call to express their solidarity to the gathering.
Suleiman also, said despite challenges confronting the region, the Middle-Belt will remain united and continue to march forward to greatness.
He insisted that Nigeria must be restructured to give way to fair sharing of resources saying justice must be delivered to the people of the region.
Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku appreciated National Assembly for initiating a bill to establish state and local government police.
He sued for accelerated attention and passage of the bill adding that If passed and subsequently signed into law, it would go a long way to address the incessant killings particularly in the Middle-Belt region.
He said the theme of the event: Restructuring Nigeria and Reawakening : …The Position of the MiddleBelt was apt considering the security challenges facing the country.
“Killing people is another form of corruption and the worst of it all. When one steals one million, he is prosecuted but when some people kill innocent people in their sleep they are allowed to walk freely. This must stop,” he added.
Also speaking governor Samuel Ortom said Middle-Belt region has lost their ancestors investments to the herdsmen terrorists invasion.
According to him, 75 percent of the region’s Internally Generated Revenue IGR have been lost in the violence perpetrated by the invaders.
He however, noted that the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, alleged to have been behind all the crisis in the region were still moving freely after calling for their arrest at several fora.
“For us to move forward everyone must be protected as the law provided. Both the majority and minority nationalities need each other for survival. The minority groups in the country should not be taken for granted because they too are key holders in the Nigerian project”, he added.
Earlier Senator representing Benue North East, Senator Banabas Gemade enjoined all nationalities in the Middle Belt to stand their guard and work together as a people of same culture, race irrespective of their language or religion but as people of the middle belt. “Fight until the struggle to emancipate the Middle Belt is achieved,” he added
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