United Middle-Belt Youth Congress, UMYC, has demanded a separate identity for the people of the region to differentiate them from the Hausa-Fulani and Kanuri peoples of the far North.
Leading a delegation of executive officers of the congress on a courtesy call to Vanguard’s corporate office in Lagos, the group’s President, Mr. Abuka Onalo, said the people of the Middle-Belt were now remorseful of their roles in past actions of spearhea-ding Northern interests that did not benefit their people.
He particularly regretted the role of the Middle-Belt in the Nigerian civil war, saying the people of the region would not repeat the mistake.
He said: “We want the Middle-Belt people to be recognised and be referred to as Middle-Belt region. We want to be part of a new Nigeria where the Middle-Belt will be a federating unit.
“We likened our argument to the issue of true federalism. Since the South-South has been officially re-grouped as the Niger Delta region, we from the Middle-Belt should be grouped as the Middle-Belt region.
“We have never been subdued. We contributed in establishing the Federal Republic of Nigeria; we know what we suffered after the Civil War. There should be no reason why the nation cannot give us our own identity.”
In canvassing for identity, we are careful so that we do not destabilise what we helped in creating.”
We Regret Killing Biafrans during the Civil war : We are not Northerners – Middle Belt Youths
Reviewed by James chibueze