Nigeria Restructuring: Middle Belt Set up Committee
By ALEX UANGBAOJE
The Association of Middle Belt Ethnic Nationalities, ASOMBEN, said on Wednesday, that it has setup a 10-man committee as part of its support of the restructuring of Nigeria to aggregate all its position on the matter into a document.
ASOMBEN, which claimed to be the majority of the population of Northern Nigeria as a group, also unveiled a book, “Middle Belt Identity and Ideology.”
They made this known in a Communique made available to newsmen in Kaduna, signed by Comrade Pius Attah, and Hon. Da Davou Jang Davou, Secretary and Chairman of the association respectively after its Summit over the weekend
Parts of the Communique reads: “The Association shared a Working Document in which thirty-nine selected calls by various Nigerians for some form of the restructuring of the country were quoted. Of these, only one came from a Middle Beltan. The Summit therefore resolved to gather opinions from stakeholders and put together a Middle Belt position on the subject. Meanwhile, we support the restructuring of Nigeria as shall be captured in our document.
“A ten-member committee was set up to carry out this assignment and prepare a draft position for review within six weeks. The same committee was also charged with the responsibility of investigating the status of the Atakar/Ganawuri disagreements and report back.”
The Atakar people of Kaura Local Government Area, LGA, of Kaduna state, are on the hilly, eastern fringe of the border of Southern Kaduna with the Kanawuri people of Riyom, LGA of Plateau State. The two have been in a protracted squabble over claims of land. Of recent, the Atakar have accused the Kanawuri of making their lands a launch pad for Fulani militia to invasions into Atkar lands, with high death toll.
The Communique further said, “Put together, we constitute the higher population in the area called Northern Nigeria: However, we have suffered discrimination in various ways from the pre-Independence days till date.
“The booklet, ‘Middle Belt Identity and Ideology’ was unveiled by our Chairman, Hon. (Da) Toma Jang Davou. Its thirty-eight pages define and identify the Middle Beltan and his geographical demarcations in the Nigerian entity; catalogue his social and political experiences over the decades since the 1914 Amalgamation; spelt out his rights and interests which are being trampled on by others, and finally posits an ideology for him to follow in order to ensure his pride of place in the Nigerian project.”