Today, we put the whole world on notice: The Middle Belt has woken up. When our latter-day supporter of APC are ready to fight their next civil war, which they have planned meticulously over the years, let it be known that we have ordered our people throughout the length and breadth of the Middle Belt, on strict instruction, never to be a part of it, as we stupidly did in 1967-70. We foolishly served as the foot soldiers of the Caliphate, to our bitter shame and regret! We lost almost a million of our people fighting our brethren the Ndiigbo; fighting for a Fulani Caliphate that, unbeknownst to us, considered us to be their sworn enemies and contemptible chattel slaves all along.
Ndiigbo, we are on our knees, begging you to forgive us for the sins we have committed against you, against God and against Humanity. Please, forgive us our monumental follies of yesteryears. You are our Umunna across the Great River. We swear by the graves of our venerable warrior ancestors, the graves of the millions of your and our people who perished in Biafra land, and we swear by everything we hold most sacred, that we shall never stand against you in life or in death. Never again!
The preceding somber and solemn declaration by a penitent Middle Belt indigenous nationalist is a graphic depiction of the epochal change that has taken place since the Nigeria of a half-century ago and today. The British colonial rule divvied Nigeria into three regions; Northern, Eastern and Western Regions at Independence of 1960. The Northern Region’s landmass was mostly the Middle Belt. But the entire region was ruled by the Sokoto Caliphate aristocracy that was created and controlled by the Fulani. During the Civil War, the Middle Belt indigenous peoples were harnessed and deployed as the forward foot soldiers that carried the burden of that genocidal war on the Biafran population. In retrospect, the Middle Belters were used as slaves by the Fulani rulers of the Islamic North to fight a war that they got nothing out of when the dust settled.
This article clearly defined the extent of geopolitical Middle Belt. The economic potential of this region, especially in agriculture and food production, is well articulated to portray the readiness of the territory to strike out successfully on its own if needs be. Irrespective of whatever becomes Nigeria’s fate, the Middle Belt’s stature in strategic importance to our sub-region shall grow larger with time.
A new breed of Middle Belt leaders have come to the realization that the region’s fate lies with Southern Nigeria, not the North. The Middle Belt is majority Christian just like the South, while 12 states of the Far North have already adopted the Sharia legal system for the past two decades. Top Middle Belt nationalist organizations are currently working closely with their Southern alliance partners in the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS). A regional security network is being planned to provide a bulwark against the rampaging murderous Fulani herdsmen militia in the Middle Belt and South.