- Chartered aircraft of the leaders of Ohanaeze, Afenifere were reportedly denied landing permit in Makurdi, the capital of Benue state
- The leaders were at Makurdi to attend Middle-Belt conference to discuss the state of the nation
- Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, a former leader of NADECO, said that there was need for Nigeria to be restructured
The aircraft conveying leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), Monday, July 16, was reportedly denied landing permit at the Makurdi airport by the Air Force authorities, where they had scheduled to attend the Middle-Belt conference.
Vanguard reports that members of the leadership of the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, including the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Afenifere, Middle-Belt and south-south forums with Governor Samuel Ortom (middle) after a condolence visit to the people and the government of Benue state in Makurdi.
NAIJ.com gathered that this was disclosed by a former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), chieftain, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (retired) while addressing the gathering.
Suleiman who publicly put a call to the leaders while addressing the gathering at the IBB square in Makurdi, the Benue state capital cautioned that the leaders of the Middle-Belt would not be cowed promising that the region would continue to work together to ensure safety and victory for the people of the region.
The retired senior air force officer said: “despite challenges confronting the region, the Middle-Belt will remain united and continue to march forward to greatness.”
Suleiman further said: “There is need for Nigeria to be restructured to give way to fair sharing of resources because justice must be delivered to the people of the regions. Middle belters are not cowards.
"We shall march unto victory. Forward ever, backward never. We all must liberate the middle belt. This current nonsense must not be allowed to continue. We must strategise for a common front and we will get there.”
Speaking, Governor Darius Ishaku who attended the event appreciated the effort of the National Assembly for initiating a bill to establish state and local government police.
He faulted the provisions of the 1999 constitution which was drawn from USA noting that the US Constitution provides for local and state police but which was deliberately not incorporate in Nigerian Constitution.
He sued for accelerated attention and passage of the bill, stressing that If passed and subsequently signed into law it would go a long way to address the incessant killings in the country particularly in the Middle-Belt region.
He said: “Killing people is another form of corruption and the worst of it all. When one steals one million he is prosecuted but when some persons kill innocent people in their sleep they are allowed to walk free. This must stop. Nigeria is a great country but it is wasting away.
"Every state in Nigeria is a potential country of its own. Despite there absence at the rally the southern leaders made their speech through a phone call and contributed to the theme of the conference themed, ‘Restructuring Nigeria and Reawakening.”
Also speaking, the Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said that people would resist any attempt to stop activities of middle belt forum.
The legal adviser of Middle Belt Forum ( MBF), Mike Zeko, called for restructuring with two more region created out of the present region .
Zeko called for an executive president with three (3) vice presidents just as he said the 2014 national CONFAB should be adopted as it has addressed all national issues bedevilling the country.
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Hundreds of delegates from the middle belt region including presidential aspirants from the region attended the rally which was held at the gigantic IBB square in Makurdi .
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported the southern and middle belt leaders forum warned the presidency against declaring a state of emergency in Benue state and has also called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for killings in the state and other parts of the country.
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