2019: Middle belt has no agenda ― Minister of sports
AS the agitation for separate identity for the Middle Belt continues to swell, the Minister of Youths and Sport Development Mr Solomon Dalung has punctured the movement and declared that the geo-political zone has no clear cut agenda to determine what it want in the north and Nigeria as a whole.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after attending 95th General Church Council of the Church of Christ in All Nations (COCIN) in Jos, Plateau, the Minister of Sport said other zones in the country have agenda of what they want adding that the North Central has refused to come up with their position on salient national issues bordering on survival and wellbeing of the zone .
“There is a difference between having organization and people’s agenda. The Middle Belt struggle is dated back to the colonial era, however, we have no agenda, we are minority living in the north, what do we have as an agenda of the minority in term of development, relationship with our neighbors, the type of education we intend to provide for our people. The preservation of our culture and our stake in Nigeria nation, these to the best of my knowledge has never existed.
“There are huge minerals deposits in the Middle Belt, as I am talking to you, illegal mining is going on in virtually all the local governments. If we have an agenda, we would have learned from the experience of what happened to the people of South-South and nip such in the bud” he said.
He further pointed out that the absence of strong political agenda has led to the formation of political organisations that are more pronounced whenever election is approaching adding that even when elections are lost and won, the Middle Belt seems not to be properly position for governance.
“That is why I said the minority in the North has no agenda. After identifying your agenda, you choose who to partner with. In the first Republic, the minority decided to aligned with the South-West, the UNDC was an allied of the Middle Belt . Today who are the allied of the minority in the North, what are their gains?.
“Therefore aligning with the North depend on our agenda, do we have an agenda? The Minister of Agriculture in this country for the first time is from the minority north, the North-East and North-West have taking advantage of this while we are still here fighting”
Speaking on the same issue while addressing the church council, the minister stated that he will continue to attend the Northern meeting of the ACF as long as the Middle Belt has refused to come up with an organization with a clear cut agenda.
“The day you come up with agenda suitable to all in line with our aspiration in the North Central I will stop attending the meeting in the North because if you destroy a system, you must create one” he said.
In his address, the President of Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Reverend Dachollom Datiri enjoined the government to ensure that the Internal Displaced Persons at various camps return to their ancestral home and as well provide security for them.
Reverend Datiri further implored the government to work hard at rehabilitating them as many of their homes and farms have been destroyed.