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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

South, Middle Belt, Northern Minorities meet in US, call for unity, restructuring

South, Middle Belt, Northern Minorities meet in US, call for unity, restructuring

The South, Middle Belt and Northern Minority Forum ended its meeting in New York, United States of America on Wednesday with a call for the unity of all progressive groups across the country to save Nigeria from raging violence and blood-letting.

The group said the best way to save Nigeria is to restructure the country and adopt a new constitution as against the 1999 Constitution, which it described as “imposed by the military”.

“Nigerians need a united from of all progressive groups to save the country and prevent a violent break up,” the Southern Nigeria, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities Alliance said in a resolution after its three-day meeting in New York.

The meeting, hosted in Manhattan, New York City via Zoom, was attended by about 500 delegates from across the United States, representing Southern, Middle Belt and Northern minorities.

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The group condemned the recent killings in Southern Kaduna, saying minorities in the North have become puns exploited and humiliated by the social, political and economic system.

The group’s resolution has been sent to political leaders in Europe, North America and the United Nations Security council.

The resolution, read by the group’s President, Sidney Imobhio, a prominent lawyer in New York, said Nigeria is at the verge of a major calamity occasioned by poverty, armed conflict and violence, adding that the prospect of a violent break up is real unless the progressives come together to save the country.

It said: “Reports from local and international organisations show that Nigeria is dancing on a blade edge. The political class appear helpless. Corruption is killing the country and elections have become rituals that make no direct impact on the livelihood of the people. Only a unity of purpose of all progressive groups will lift the country from stupor.”

Imohbio said the political class is not meeting public expectations and that mis-governance continue to fuel violence and ethnic militia that may attack the foundation of the country.

SMBNMF expressed full support for any genuine efforts aimed at restructuring Nigeria to prevent violence and spike in armed conflict.

Speaking on the need for unity of the progressive groups across the country, the SMBNMF said: “All members were visibly excited to see Nigeria emerge from the constant stories of violence and killings. Nigeria needs a new movement with the hope to rescue our country from the claws of Nazism.

“This is a dream every rationale Nigerian would want to see come true. Dictators all over the world never give up power or freedom to the masses voluntarily. We admire the guts of the members of this new political movement. In fact, we have been expecting this type of move by some well-meaning Nigerians. We still believe that more groups will emerge as time goes on.”

The coalition however said only the unity of all the groups across South, Middle Belt and Northern minorities can save Nigeria from her quagmire.

The group is the largest coalition of Southern, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities in the Diaspora with branches in all the continents.

The group also has some 24 state chapters in Nigeria

“The more oppositions to this regime, the merrier and better for all Nigerians. Judging from the predictions of our facts finding in Nigeria, the emergence of a new movement was not breaking news to most of our members.

However, we agreed that there are a lot of very important huddles we must first go through to save Nigeria before 2023,” the group said.

On the way forward, the group called for restructuring of the country and the second being the 1999 Constitution.

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It said: “The formation of a new movement or political party at this crucial time cannot be considered as one of the only very urgent issues for now. We believe that our problems are not with the parties alone, but with the structure, the system and operators.

It is therefore instructive for us to remain focused on how to correct these problems now. Let us stop chasing the shadow. If we make any mistake this time, one may not be surprised to see Nigeria go into flames.

“If such situation is allowed to develop, then we should be prepared and expect to witness an unimaginable trouble that might consume the soul of the ailing fragile country called Nigeria.

We must be bold to say that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is not helping issues and cannot deny overt knowledge of an impending imbroglio of great magnitude. If nothing is done now to quickly correct and avert  such calamity, we think the catastrophe might be bigger than what anyone can imagine.”

The group listed four areas to address: lopsided appointments, restructuring, total revision or replacement of 1999 Constitution with the outcome of 2014 National Conference, adding: “The so-called constitution (Yadudu Textbook) with sixty-eight obnoxious exclusive lists and twelve meaningless concurrent lists is a fraud on Nigerians.”

It also listed the need to retire the Service Chiefs and all other spent members of security agencies and inject new blood into the system, saying it will inspire the young officers to follow and obey your instructions to the letters.

It added: “We are very much afraid that this regime is continuously doing wanton damage to the already weak foundations of the country. We cannot fold our hands and allow things to continue this way. We all have responsibility to save our country.

The country has been balkanized into tribal, religious, political, economic and in fact, social strife. And yet, the destructions continue unabated” the coalition said adding that Nigerians must do something now to “rescue the country from the claws of this Nazism.”

The group called on Nigerians to adopt non violence in addressing the challenges facing the country

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