Group calls for establishment of Middle Belt Development Commission - Insecurity

user_icon  Group calls for establishment of Middle Belt Development Commission - Insecurity Posted by: NOTICE.COM.NG Staff
calendar-icon  Group calls for establishment of Middle Belt Development Commission - Insecurity Posted on: 2021-09-13 09:11:36
 Group calls for establishment of Middle Belt Development Commission - Insecurity MIDDLE-BELT-FORUM29197

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to set up an agency to be called the Middle Belt Development Commission (MBDC) to serve as an intervention agency in addressing the security challenges caused by the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed Fulani militia, kidnappers/bandits and other related criminal elements.

The National Executive Committee also called on the Federal Government to identify, apprehend and bring the perpetrators of the heinous crimes against humanity to justice as the only way to serve as a deterrent to others.

A communique issued at the end of a two-day NEC meeting of the Middle Belt Forum by its National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, said behind extensive deliberations by the committee on a wide range of issues affecting the region and the nation at large, it observed that the incessant invasions by Fulani militia on several communities have assumed a genocidal/ethnic cleansing scale.

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The statement read, “The incessant invasions by Fulani militia on several communities across the Middle Belt Region in particular, and other parts of the country in general, have assumed genocidal/ethnic cleansing scale. These attacks have left in their wake mind-boggling massacres and devastations in our communities and displacement of indigenous Peoples to various Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps.”

The National Executive Committee, therefore, called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to return displaced communities to their ancestral lands, saying that territory can no longer be acquired in the 21st century by the use of force.

It also called on the government to identify all IDPs in the Middle Belt Region and provide relief materials to them.

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The communique lamented that Nigeria has been plunged into a critical situation of insecurity occasioned by the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed Fulani militia, kidnappers/bandits and other related criminal elements, adding that this spate of insecurity has pushed the nation to the precipice.

It called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to arrest the situation and save the nation from another civil war.

It noted that many schools and places of worship in the Middle Belt have remained closed due to the criminal activities of Fulani kidnappers and bandits, regretting that many school children and other helpless citizens are still languishing in the dens of kidnappers.

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The MBF insists that the Federal Government must come clean and yield to the demand by the Nigerian public to unveil the identities of the sponsors of Boko Haram, especially the 400 Bureau de change operators as identified by the UAE authorities.

The committee expressed worry that a report by the UN that the Federal Government is secretly engaged in negotiations tagged ‘Sulhu’ with Boko Haram terrorists through which it has offered monetary rewards to insurgents and other criminals.

It said it is totally opposed to the project and any form of amnesty to insurgents and other terror groups who have their hands dripping with blood and also opposed to any planned recruitment of these so called repentant terrorists into the national security architecture.

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It noted that democracy is about the wishes and aspirations of the people and called on the National Assembly and the Presidency to reconsider their position on electronic transmission of election results, saying that there is the need to yield to the wishes of the Nigerian people who are demanding 100 percent implementation of electronic transmission of electoral results in order to ensure credibility and transparency in the electoral process.

The communique commended the Southern Governors and some Governors in the Middle Belt and their State Assemblies for their courage in passing Anti-Open Grazing Laws in their states.

It condemned in strong terms the call by Miyetti Allah on its members not to obey the anti-open grazing laws duly passed in their states, threatening to make states that attempt to implement such a law ungovernable.

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It viewed this as a clear threat to National Security, and demands that Miyetti Allah officials should be arrested, investigated and prosecuted under the anti-terrorism laws.

The meeting reviewed the zoning arrangement as it relates to the Presidency in Nigeria and considers the current arrangement of power rotation between the North and the South as unfair, saying that it has failed to recognize the Middle Belt geopolitical block.

It therefore, called on the political actors in Nigeria particularly political parties to henceforth reflect the zoning arrangements for power to rotate between North, South and the Middle Belt.

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According to the communique, “NEC acknowledges and commends Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state for his resilient stance in the defence of the rights of the Benue people and for his courage and foresight in making the anti-open grazing law even in the face of threats by Miyetti Allah and those other forces that seek to Fulanise and enslave the Benue people and the rest of the Middle Belt. It is for his foresight that today, the entire Southern Nigeria has adopted his position based on the validity of his position.”

It added, “By the same token, NEC commends Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for his consistent struggle for the Rule of Law and true Federalism, particularly the recent judgment of the Federal High Court on the Value Added Tax (VAT) which has opened the door for the commencement of the struggle for Restructuring of Nigeria.”

The meeting resolved that people of the Middle Belt should rise up and defend themselves in the face of governments abandoning their Constitutional responsibility of defending them or seeming complicity following the alleged ethnic cleansing being waged by Fulani terrorists in our Communities, including the supplanting of their people.

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It resolved that an attack on any of their communities is now considered as an attack on all communities in the Middle Belt with the attendant responses and consequences.

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