- A former minister has warned that Middle Belters will not follow the North if Nigeria divide
- Jerry Gana said Northerners wishing for the break up Nigeria should be mindful of what they wish for
- He said no individual or group has the right to dictate where any Nigerian citizen could live
A former minister of information Jerry Gana has said that the Middle belt will not follow the North should Nigeria break up.
Gana who is also the national president of the Middle Belt Forum said northerners preaching the division of Nigeria should be mindful of what the wish for.
While delivering a sermon at the St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Maitama on Sunday, June 2, condemned the ultimatum giving to the Igbos living in the North by the Arewa youth groups.
He said Nigerians from the Middle Belt have already informed the Northerners that they will not be going with them.
“They think when it comes to break-up, we will go along with the North. We have already told them that if they allow this country to break up, we are not going with the North. We are staying where we are. So, just take notice. If it comes to that, we will tell you that you are Arewa and we are ‘Middle-Belters.’" Gana said.
However, pledging his support and patriotism for Nigeria, Gana also blasted the former vice chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University Ango Abdullahi for supporting the quit notice issued by the Northern youths.
He said: "We love Nigeria and it was changed to a federal system because of the minorities so that we can have a place."
"So, we love Nigeria but in the unlikely event that people want to go their way, the Arewa in the Sahel will go. But we will remain here in the Federal Republic of Nigeria," Gana said.
The former minister further cautioned all those heating up the polity.
He said, no individual or group, has the right to dictate where any Nigerian citizen could live.
“One of them, who also spoke is a former vice-chancellor. I thank God he didn’t sign my certificate. My own was signed by Prof. Ishaya Audu. How can a man of that stature, of that status, of that level of leadership, says he supports the youths in Kaduna to give to other legitimate citizens, an order to go? Who are you? Who says that?
“In this country, there are no second-class citizens. We are all first class. We are all sons and daughters of this land and that was why I decided to call a conference of all the minorities from 14 states and we had to state in clear words that the quit notice was totally unconstitutional. This is our home.”
He also advised the federal government to embrace restructuring and make plans to dialogue with all regions of the country to ensure respect and equality among citizens.
“In democracy, dialogue is the language, consultation is the way. Two cannot work together unless they agree. So, there needs to be dialogue and mutual respect.
“Anywhere you have diversity of ethnicity or religion in the world, the type of system that works is federalism. And that is the way. And each one must build his federal system the way it suits him. It cannot be imposed; it cannot be engineered in favour of one person," Gana said.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Middle Belt Youth Council (MBYC) offered the Igbos living in the North accommodation should the Northerners enforce the ultimatum issued to them.
The group said the Middle Belters are not Northerners and will never be Northerners.
The council said it is no longer news that Nigeria is peace and unity was being threatened.
MBYC also assured Nigerians that they are good and peace-loving citizens of Nigeria.
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