Critical Times News : TY Danjuma sends strong warning to the enemies of Middle-Belt Region

Published by / 17 Jul 2018 / No comments / ,

TY Danjuma sends strong warning to the enemies of Middle-Belt Region

The Federal Government bared its pangs on Southern leaders who flew into Benue State to show solidarity with the people of the Middle Belt region over killings in the hands of armed herdsmen.

They were to attend a conference organised by the Middle Belt leaders to draw global attention to their helplessness in the face of growing attacks and killings by suspected Fulani militia.

But on arrival in Makurdi, the Benue State capital for the event, the leaders of Afenifere, Ohanaeze, and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) ,were allegedly denied landing at the Makurdi Airport by the aviation authorities.

The delegations of Afenifere, Ohanaeze, and PANDEF were led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chukwuemeka Eziefe, and Edwin Clark respectively.

The AUTHORITY learnt that the stranded Southern leaders resorted to sending their goodwill messages to the conference through their phones.
No reason was given for the action by the aviation authorities at the Makurdi Airport. Federal Ministry of Aviation did not offer any explanations equally.

The conference however went ahead where the former Minister of Defence, Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, sent a strong message to those bent on taking over the lands of the people of the Middle Belt.

Danjuma declared that nobody, no matter how highly placed or connected, can conquer the Middle Belt region.

He said that the people of the region had defended themselves in the past and defeated their enemies, stressing that they would do it again when the situation becomes intolerable.

Through his representative at the event, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd), Danjuma said that he cannot stand aside and watch “this great country sink into oblivion,” adding that he had the “duty to be the voice of the voiceless”.

Danjuma said that some of them fought hard to keep Nigeria one, while some of the soldiers paid the supreme price. He insisted that every Nigerian must be given a sense of belonging so that the country can remain united.

He said: “The people of the Middle Belt were never conquered by the invaders; our forefathers defeated them before and they would be defeated again. Let nobody deceive the people, the Middle Beltans are true Nigerians. I can’t subscribe to any notion aimed at weakening the country”.

Also at the conference, Governor Dairus Ishaku of Taraba State, commended the National Assembly for initiating a bill to establish state and local government police, and sued for its accelerated hearing and passage.

The governor said that if the bill was passed and signed into law, it would address the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians, stressing that killing was the worst form of corruption.

Ishaku said: “When one steals one million naira, he is prosecuted, but when some people kill innocent Nigerians in their sleep, they are allowed to walk freely. This must stop. Nigeria is a great country, but it is wasting away. Every state in Nigeria is a potential country of its own”.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said that the time was ripe for Nigeria to be restructured, adding that the present constitution does not avail equal opportunities to a vast segment of Nigerians.

He expressed concern that the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore were still moving freely after admitting at press conferences that they were responsible for the killings in Benue and other parts of Nigeria.

“I, therefore, reiterate the call for the arrest of the leadership of the association because before they commenced the killings this year; they threatened that if the Anti-Open Grazing and Ranches Establishment Law was not repealed, they will unleash terror on the Benue people. They have done that several times and killed scores of people. If they are not arrested, we cannot rest nor stop crying.

“For us to move forward, everyone must be protected as the law provides. 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 stakeholders in the Nigerian project,” he said.

On his part, Senator Barnabas Gemade enjoined all nationalities in the Middle Belt to stand their ground and work together as a people of the same culture and race irrespective of their language.

He urged them to be ready to fight until the struggle to emancipate the Middle Belt is achieved.

Earlier, the National President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, commended governors Ortom and Ishaku for enacting the Anti-Open Grazing Laws in their states.

He expressed sadness that Middle Beltans were being treated like second-class citizens in their own country.

Pogu said: “We contributed immensely to keep the country one, but we are always relegated to the background. Without the Middle Belt ,the country can’t survive. Restructuring is what we must undertake for the benefit of all, especially the Middle Belt.

“The sellers of the Middle Belt for their personal gains must be called to order. Such persons are traitors and God will not forgive them.”

The conference theme was “Restructuring Nigeria and Reawakening: The position of the Middle Belt.” The confab continues today.

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