In a twist of developments occasioned by insecurity in the country, more agitations continue to call for separation.
A pro- democracy movement, Volunteers for the Sovereign State of Middle Belt has said the people of Middle Belt are ready to have their own independence. “We cannot allow the Fulani to conquer and kill us in our land.” the group said.
The group further threatened to boycott 2023 if their demands are not met. The group insisted they are not second class citizens and must be treated fairly.
“We are watching events in the country, any attempt by the Fulani to continue with further killings of our people will be resisted”
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MAY 24, 2021.
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
VOLUNTEERS FOR THE SOVEREIGN STATE OF MIDDLE BELT
THEME: DECLARATION OF THE MIDDLE BELT REPUBLIC AND UNVEILING OF FLAG
Ladies and gentlemen.
Fellow compatriots, as we are all aware, the country in its present state and form is sure tilting towards an uncertain precipice.
The uncertainty is evident in the happenings around the country. Propelled by rampaging insecurity across the nation and a bolstering sense of exclusion of certain ethnicities in the affairs of the nation at the center.
Of particular note are fulani herdsmen killings across the country especially in the Middle Belt Region.
As much as we would love to promote and enhance the unity of the diverse ethnic groups in the country, it is apparent that the centre can no longer hold. It is therefore, only imperative that we put forward this patriotic call.
Our concerted efforts after the civil war to remain together as a nation have yielded little or no results as can be demonstrated in recent times. For the first time, the agitations by our South Eastern Ibo brethren to have an independent republic of Biafra is gathering steam now, more than ever before. In the middle of this, the Southern people of Nigeria have seemed to reawaken their demand for the Oduduwa republic.
Now, in all of this, as it hangs, with the Southern governors tilting towards an imminent endorsement for this agitations, one thing remains glaring; the hanging fate of the people of the middle belt.
Fellow compatriots, this press conference is called to set a tone that will ultimately determine the fate of the people of the Middle Belt. Should the country be separated along South East (BIAFRA) and South West (Oduduwa) , what becomes of us the people of the middle belt?
Of course, the people of Northern Nigeria would be left with pieces left of Nigeria to themselves. Where then is our future as people of the middle belt?
The middle belt people seem excised from both agitations, some tend to donate us to the Biafra Republic, some tend to donate us to whatever will be left of Nigeria and handed over to the Fulanis to continue with their nepotism and wanton killings. But the fundamental question is where do we truly belong?
This press conference seeks to clarify our position as the independent people of the Middle Belt. This press conference seeks to set the tone for the imminent clamoring of our own Independent Republic as the indigenous people of the Middle Belt.
The Fulanis in recent times after years of indifference and institutionalized favoritism have seemed to cave in to the demands for separation. Should this agitations be allowed to see the light of the day without a clear stand of the people of the Middle Belt, then clearly, our fate would be left to be determined by either the republic of Biafra or we would be left at the mercy of the fulanis who have raped, displaced and killed over a quarter of million people in the last five years.
In Benue, state for an example, beyond the recent killing of over 50 people by hersdmen , has become almost a daily routine for our people to fall victims in the hands of this daredevil killers. Just recently in Benue, at the IDP camps were our people are having temporary due to displacement, by same Fulani hersdmen , our people were attacked and killed .
As the indigenous people of the Middle Belt, with vast natural and human resources, with our region as home to the most important rivers(Benue & Niger) surrounded by vast swaths of farmlands, we do not want to leave our fate hanging in the air and above all in the hands of the murderous Fulani people to actualise the conquest agenda.
We are confident in our exploits and capacity to survive on our own should the Nigerian entity finally go seperate ways. We are more than ever willing to have our own nation to ourselves. The time for the independent Middle Belt Republic is now.
We are here to take a position, an unequivocal position that would leave everyone with no iota of doubt that we cannot be an annex of a Biafra Republic or an appendage of the remains of a broken Nigeria where the killing of our people by Fulani will continue unabated.
To this end, and on the strength of continued killings in our land, orchestrated by Fulani herdsmen and the secessionist agitations from the South to the North, this is our considered position:
- The marauding Fulani herdsmen have demonstrated their conquest agenda by the continued killing of our people. Our Union with them is foreclosed.
- The people of the Middle Belt cannot belong to Northern Nigeria were the fulanis have made themselves landlord over the lives of others.
- The people of Middle Belt are not second class citizens to the Fulanis , we cannot surrender our land for a jihadist agenda.
- The people of Middle Belt have demonstrated loyalty and commitment to a peaceful and United Nigeria as it stands, but will not hesitate to seek her total independence should the country cave in to demands for seperation.
- We, the people of the Middle Belt have noted over the years as the country shares our collective resources along NORTH/SOUTH hegemonies to the total exclusion of the people of Middle Belt.
- We, the people of the Middle Belt have witnessed how the leadership trajectory of the Nigerian state in the present form is only discussed and considered along NORTHERN/SOUTHERN lines. Why would the presidency or vice presidency of a country truly seeking unity and harmony be the exclusive reserve of South/North?
- We note with dismay as decisions are taken without the interest of the people of Middle Belt in perspective. Yet, through the ages, we have used our people and peaceful heritage to hold this country together when it drifted towards disintegration.
- We note with further consternation how we have been used over the years as a punching bag and a bargaining chip for the interest of the fulanis. When it is time for census and elections, the Fulanis rely on our population and demography to get undue advantages, but afterwards, the killing and displacement of our people continues.
- We, the indigenous people of Middle Belt are unanimous in our position to state clearly; that we are not second class citizens in the present state of Nigeria. The Fulanis who are not even indigenous will not be allowed to take over our land.
- We also make bold to say we are determined to have our own independent republic known as the Middle Belt Peoples Republic. We are determined more than ever before to stamp our survival for the ultimate freedom of our people.
- We therefore, issue an irrevocable ultimatum to the invading Fulanis Killing our people on our land to leave the Middle Belt within the next (90) days to avert terrible consequences.
- Failure to heed to the ultimatum in preference of a continued conquest agenda (JIHAD) in the Middle Belt region would have dire consequences.
Time and again, we say to the world that the indigenous people of Middle Belt have nursed and provided the chords that have kept this country together after civil war. But what is our reward? Total exclusion, total relegation, total disregard, total annihilation has befallen our people. The daily killings in the Middle Belt, the displace of hundreds of thousands of farmers by fulani herdsmen.
To those who donate us to the north, what do they have to say when killings by rampaging herdsmen continue unabated in the Middle Belt? When we are sent away from our river banks, when our farmlands are invaded by the daring herdsmen, what do they have in consolation for us?
Then we turn to the South for respite, they treat us as aliens, they treat as moles because we are perceived as the north yet, we suffer the most from the Fulani killings. If we have no place in the North, and we are considered moles in elsewhere, then it is high time we seek our own independent republic, so we can rebuild from scratch and redeem our lost glory. The wasted years of blind loyalty and patriotism to a shaking nation has disabled us from achieving our maximum potentials.
Fellow compatriots, it is well within our rights to seek our survival in the face an unrepentant fulani conquest agenda.
We will do so through every legitimate, peaceful and feasible way possible. We will do so by placing the facts before our enemies and those who show us solidarity. We will approach the table with real issues and defy their sense of judgment.
This press conference, no doubt, marks the beginning of a long tortuous and sacrificial journey to freedom for the people of the Middle Belt.
We are looking up to the support of the international community. We are determined to reach out to other nations of the world who have demonstrated commitment to freedom. The United States of America, the United Kingdom etc on the one hand and the United Nations, the European Union, the Common Wealth on the one part. Our abiding resolve for the emancipation and preservation of our freedom and inalienable rights of the Independent People of Middle Belt remains our greatest objective.
Times are indeed uncertain, but our future cannot be perpetually uncertain, especially in the midst of division and disunity and wanton killing of our people by fulani herdsmen.
Fellow compatriots make no mistake about our resolve and clamour for independence, it is a cause that was birth many years ago. Our freedom is older than the aspirations and ambitions of those who seek to undermine our stake in the present marital contraption called Nigeria.
Our idea is propelled by the universal principles of freedom, equality fairness and justice our abiding faith in our struggle is sustained by the hope that if we only ask for our freedom, it will not be ever given, but if we take it, we will ultimately have our own freedom. For the time tested adiom that “freedom is not given, it is taken” has finally come to find it’s bearing in our resolve.
To the people who would want to doubt our resolve, we will defy your judgment.
To the people who would want to stop our resolve, we will win you.
To the people who would sit on the fence, rest assured that, our resilience and determination and dedication and commitment and perseverance for freedom will win us your support in the end.
The people of the Middle Belt are peaceful and shall remain peaceful throughout the cause to determine their freedom. Freedom of the hands of fulani nepotism, freedom from killings, freedom from hegemony, etc.
The time has come when silence is no longer golden….
The time has come when our voices need to be heard….
The time has come for the people of the Middle Belt to climb on the mountain tops and shout for their freedom…
We will not slack nor falter to the whims and caprices of detractors and pessimists…
We will no longer accept a middle ground in the scheme of affairs…
We want our stakes stated on paper and ink…..
We want our freedom to be conventional.
We want to once again reecho our abiding faith in God’s wish for all mankind; that we are all made equal in His likeness and image; and that no geographical or political or religious perspective is enough to change the will of God.
The Independent people of Middle Belt as always will continue to look out for peace as we all seek the gains of self -sustenance and justice and equity.
We will remain better partners as independent people under God.
Long live The Independent People Of Middle Belt!
God bless you all.
Dr David Attah.
Volunteers For The Sovereign State Of Middle Belt
Sandra Atim esq
Middle Belt Women Frontier
Comrade Joshua Peter.
Middle Belt Civil Society Alliance
Middle Belt Freedom Movement
Dr Richard Oduma Agba.
Middle Belt Peace Foundation
Chief Melvin Pam
Plateau Peopls Action Congress