Group calls for South, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities unity against terrorism.
…..It lists terrorist occupation of River Niger as a major threat to unity.
By Sanusi Abdullahi
Indigenous peoples in the South and Middle belt have been asked to unite in order to resist the growing threats of terrorism in the two zones.
The group said the occupation of River Niger by the terrorists will open access to weapons and logistic supply through River Niger which runs from Guinea to Mali and Niger where terrorists already have strongholds.
The group said rising cases of terror in the two regions occasioned by forceful occupation of ancestral land pose a big threat to food security and livelihood of the peoples.
“Terrorism is a major threat to indigenous peoples of the Middle Belt and South. Thousands of people have been killed by terrorists operating in the two areas. Their forests are occupied. The Middle Belt is no longer the food basket. Farmers are chased away from their farms. Livelihood stands at a peril. Only a united front can save the people from total destruction by terrorists who are alien to the cultures of the people.”
In a statement on Friday signed by its President, Sidney Imobhio, a lawyer, made available to Irohinoodua, the Southern Nigeria, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities Forum, (SONAMIBF said terrorism remains a major threat to the livelihood of the South and Middle Belt peoples.
The movement said Nigeria and Nigerians are in their darkest period and that it appears there is no light of hope in the tunnels now or in the near future.
“We are worried by the occupation of River Niger by terrorists. This is nothing but aggression against the people of the Middle Belt and South. River Niger takes its source from Guinea and runs through Mali and Niger Republics. These armed groups will receive weapons using small vessels through River Niger. The prospect of invasion of Middle Belt and the South by terrorists is real” the group said.
The group called on the two regions to unite against common threats to their survival.
It said billions of funds are being raised by terrorists through kidnapping of South and Middle Belt peoples and that the funds are used to buy more arms to attack and diminish the people on their ancestral land.
It said forest resources, indigenous knowledge, sacred groves and streams, valleys and mountains of indigenous Middle Belt and Southern people are set on fire by the terrorists destroying their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
“We the members of Southern Nigeria, Middle Belt And Northern Minorities Forum (SONAMIBF) wish to see people from the South, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities to unite in the face of existential threats.”
The Forum was formed to legitimately fight back terrorists, herdsmen, kidnappers, bandits, and all other aggressors spearheaded by our enemies
The group said “The Forum is mainly calling for unity of purpose between the people in these zones who have been at the receiving end especially since President Buhari came to power in 2015
The group said it was during the period of Buhari that the former IGP Adamu (retired) ordered the withdrawal of the least firearms mainly from South and Middle Belt before the emergence of Fulani herdsmen with AK47. It expressed worry over the missing weapons in Police armoury.
“Now, Police audit reports have said that 178,459 firearms, and ammunitions are missing from Police armory. What opinion can anyone deduce from this last sentence? No state of emergency has ever been declared in the areas that are mostly infested with terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. Until a few weeks ago bandits were not declared as terrorists but the IPOB was. We cannot afford any further to recklessly undermine our future or that of our children and their generations to come for whatever reasons.”
On the dwindling economy, the group said the country is already polarized and is facing difficult times to extricate itself from the chain of wasted loans obtained from different countries worldwide by the President on one hand, and the perilous status insecurity and corruption have attained on the other hand.
It said the “inept and delinquent governance” of the country are confused and therefore in a state of quagmire with no agenda or hope to come out of it.
“Why should we stand aloof and agape at the ignoble and dubious roles of our internal ‘conquerors or emperors’ that we call ‘Leaders, Right Honorables or Excelencies’?
It accused some southern leaders (thieves) of connivance with the Fulani oligarchs to lace their private pockets with the “wealth of all of us including our children and their generations to come. We encourage, clap, and cheer them up to pauperize all of us the more. With a pittance, they can hire some youths that are already very hungry and ready to do anything including harassment, kidnapping, maiming, or even kill anyone that speaks against their nefarious activities.”
It said “Why are we (Southerners, Middle Belters and Northern Minorities) docile and mum like ‘a lame duck’? Does it mean we have given up our own life and our father land now? Are we therefore waiting for the Fulani to sentence us and our children to the guillotine machine? I don’t think that’s right. We must resist this unprovoked onslaught by the Fulani and their sponsors.”
The group called on the people to resist oppression and defend themselves if need be.
“We cannot accept or justify the killings of our people in this zones simply because the same Fulani are perpetrating evil against their own. Boko Haram, Cattle Rustling, and Banditry are alien to southerners and Middle Belters. If we want peace to reign, we must unite to stop our common enemy from onwards surge and invasion with the attendant introduction of evil into our culture. Unity of Purpose is the only answer.”
It said unity is strength. It urged the people to come together for this purpose to defend themselves by all legitimate means.
“We don’t have to fight if we are not attacked. However, we have the right to defend ourselves.
We are now inviting you to join us to fight for freedom against this oppression and marginalization of all of us in Nigeria by this clueless and inept administration.
The group can be reached through following numbers (347) 741-1071 or (917) 557-6352
Sidney Imobhio, President
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