We have one northern part of Nigeria, forget middle belt – Kwande declares
– Ambassador Yahaya Kwande argued that the north does not have anything like the middle belt
– Kwande, a member of the Northern Elders Forum, said the association would meet to consider restructuring
– He argued that the appointment of Paul Unongo as the chairman of the NEF confirms the unity in the north
Those claiming to be from middle belt part of Nigeria must just forget the idea as Yahaya Kwande, the country’s former ambassador to Switzerland, has declared that the north is not broken into parts. Prior to his declaration, those from areas like Kogi, Benue, Kwara, Plateau and their environs often claimed to be from the middle belt. There have been allegations by these people that they are marginaised by the core north. Daily Sun reports that Kwande, a member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), said the north remains one arguing that the current chairman of the association is from the middle belt.
“Forget about what some people are saying that there is nothing like one north anymore. “Following the death of Maitama Sule, who was the former chairman of the forum, a new chairman has been appointed in person of Paul Unongo who is from the middle belt. “So, what are you saying? I can categorical tell you that we are one in the north. If I may ask, have you ever seen any office of these middle belt groups anywhere in places they refer to as middle belt? “The Northern Elders Forum will soon meet to discuss restructuring, whether to support it or not. “But the expression of one of us should not be generalised; personal opinion or idea should not be taken as that of the Northern Elders Forum. “Members of the forum meet regularly to analyse and come up with position that will be of help to the north and the entire country. “Recently, various Middle Belt groups met in Abuja and came up with a position that they were not part of the north. “What do you make of statements like this when your forum and others in the north are claiming one north? “Then what are you going to say about three or four pressure groups in the south-west? They have different groups and we also have different groups in the north. “But the middle belt is part of the north. Some of the advocates of middle belt went as far as claiming that places like Zuru in Kebbi state, Gwoza in Adamawa, among others, are part of the middle belt,” he said.