The Middle Belt Youth Forum has declared that the time had come for the Middle Belt to produce the president of Nigeria, saying the geopolitical zone had contributed enough to the unity of the country and its development.
Speaking with Sunday Tribune in Jos, Plateau State, the President of the forum, Comrade Pius Attah, said the entire Middle Belt was solidly behind the move.
“It is now or never. We cannot continue to be kingmakers; we want to be king also. We have helped others, so we want to be helped also. So the Far-North should be willing to support our aspiration. Any attempt to relegate us will be counter-productive
“We are pleading with the former Senate President, Senator David Mark, to contest come 2019. He ranks among the best that presided over the senate since Independence. He presided over the senate for eight years without any crisis. He has not declared his intention, but we are saying he should run,” he stated.
In a related development, a member of the 2014 National Conference representing the North Central, Elder Bulus Dareng, said if the former Senate President was willing to serve, the Middle Belt would give him maximum support.
He said it was wrong for anybody to assume that there was nothing called the Middle Belt, adding that the powers-that-be did not want the Middle Belt to be recognised for selfish reasons.
“I was surprised when the likes of Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, claimed there is nothing like Middle Belt. If you don’t believe in the ideology and the movement, it is wrong for anybody to make a blanket statement that the Middle Belt does not exist. It is statements like this that fueling agitations; it is provoking,” he stated.
In his contribution, the Secretary, Association of Middle Belt Ethnic Nationalities, Reverend James Pam, said the Far-North should be willing to concede the number one seat to the Middle Belt.