Nigeria’s past heads of state, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida General Abdulsalam Abubakar, have declared their support for the formation of the North Central Peoples Forum.
According to DailyPost, both past leaders made their stance known on the issue during a visit by the members of the Board of Trustees of the North Central Peoples Forum led by General Jeremiah Useni at their Uphill residences in Minna, Niger state.
The forum’s board of trustees submission at the separate visits to the past leaders was that forming the forum is long overdue, agreeing that it would further lead to the development of the north-central region.
Daily Post reported that when they visited General IBB, he told the members that he had often been amazed as to why the North Central had not formed its own group, particularly, politically, the region has more votes put together than both the south-west and south-south regions of the country.
IBB said,, ” I have always wondered when I heard of groups from North West, North East, South-South and South-West and I kept wondering where we belong especially as God has blessed us with the quality and calibre of people in this region. I thought we were not playing our roles well.
“I have had a good look at the contribution of the zone politically in terms of votes and I found out that your region has more votes than both the Southwest and the south-south and yet the south-south makes more noise than other zones.”
He assured them of his support saying that the forum is coming at a time when the north-central region needs a voice to bring development to it.
“I want to commend you for what you have done in forming this forum and I assure you that we will be with you and support you always. I know that you will be the envy of other zones because you have what it takes to be recognized as a strong and potent zone in this country.”
On his own part, the former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar also stated that the forum has been long overdue insisting that setting it up will go a long way to reduce the differences between the people in the region and bridge the gap between the tribes in the region and the country.
The elder statesman Commended the Board members, ” I congratulate you on the thought of the forum and forming the forum. We are expecting that the forum will have the same performances as those who are forming it as you have all achieved great strides in your various offices.
“Certainly, you have our support in delivering the purpose of this forum. It will go a long way to minimize the disharmony between the people and between the amalgamation of all the tribes we have in the region and the country.”
He mentioned some abandoned roads in the north-central region and called on the forum to work with care and attention in making sure that all abandoned sectors in the North Central region, are carried out.
The roads mentioned include Minna to Suleja, Yelwa to Jos, Lokoja to Kabba, Kabba to Offa, adding that, ” these are the lifelines connecting us to the south but unfortunately through omission or commission, they are abandoned. I want to urge you to put your searchlight on this development.”
Speaking to newsmen after the visit, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North Central Peoples Forum, General Jeremiah Useni, said that the forum is encouraged with the support and blessings given by two former past Nigerian leaders.
” What the two leaders said will further galvanize our reports and next move. They have shown that they believe in what we are doing, and they also said what we have done is long overdue.”
General Useni was accompanied by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Khalid Bolaji, Micheal Onoja, Safianu Barje, Mike Onoja amongst others for the visit.
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