- Leaders of the Middle-Belt in Nigeria have said that an implementation of the 2014 National Conference report can still the storm of agitation in Nigeria
- The leaders of the region have urged the federal government to divide Nigeria into 12 regions
- The leaders also urged the federal government to create 18 new states
Leaders of the Middle-belt and other northern minorities, on Thursday urged the federal government, to immediately begin the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report.
The leaders of the region debated that the implementation will address the agitations for the restructuring of the country.
The meeting, which was convened under the aegis of Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum, was attended by other leaders from Adamawa, Taraba, Southern Kaduna and the six states in the north central zone.
The meeting was presided over by former minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana.
Also in attendance were former deputy Senate leader and Jonathan Zwingina from Adamawa; Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd).
Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, Ahmadu Ali from Kogi state and former Senate president, Iyiorchia Ayu from Benue state, were not left out.
One of the resolutions reached in line with the recommendations of the 2014 confab, was that a structure of 12 regions as federating units with 54 states, would be better for the country.
A statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the Secretary of the Middle Belt Forum, John Dara, reads: “In a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious country like Nigeria, the federal system makes enormous sense, because it allows the federating units to fully look after their local affairs and to develop at their own pace. Therefore, we hereby renew our loyalty, love and strong support for a united Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We appeal to all separatist agitators to allow the restructuring initiative to run its full course. We need to stay and work together to ensure that new leadership that can make Nigeria great emerges in the next elections.
“We condemn the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria. We call on the Federal Government to step up security measures to curb this menace.“Similarly, we call on the Federal Government and Borno State government to bring back our Chibok girls and resettle our people of Southern Borno and other internally displaced people in their ancestral lands and homes.
Following incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the middle belt, some prominent leaders from the region are currently in a closed door meeting in Abuja over the issue.
The meeting which is being chaired by Prof Jerry Gana, a former minister of Information, would also discuss the agitations by several ethnic groups in the country, The Punch reports.
In a related development, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has continued to find the best way to resolve the burning issue of Fulani herdsmen attacks in his state.
Ortom insisted that his administration followed due process in the passage of the anti-open grazing prohibition bill which was recently signed into law.
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Speaking through his senior special assistant on media, Mr Godwin Akor, in Makurdi, the governor warned those who are not satisfied with the new law to head to the court.
He warned against violence from those who think otherwise about the new law. NAIJ.com learnt that the governor also commended the Catholic Church for supporting his administration on issues relating to security.
The law provided the opportunity for herdsmen operate ranching.
In the video below, NAIJ.com visits Southern Kaduna where residents tell how herdsmen prevented them from getting Red Cross relief materials.