Its been the one thing that has been used to blackmail Northern Nigeria into submission. The thought that a foriegn entity could come and lay claim to parts of the North in the name of a ‘middlebelt’.
But while places like eastern Taraba, kogi, kwara, Niger, Nassarawa and Adamawa have more in common with the so called core north than not, there is no denying the fact that some places like parts of plateau and southern Kaduna are simply too much trouble for any sensible dialogue.
A mismanaged crisis has created deep seated grudges that will take decades of hardwork to erase. And no greater proof is there for the futility of any overt overtures to this belt than the recent homage paid by some people from southern kaduna to Nnamdi Kanu- a man who has made no secret his tribalism.
While we have long defended John DanFulani from the arrests and illegal dismisal he suffered at the hands of a cruel APC govt, this ploy to seek sympathy with racists is a testament to the disfunctional nature of the internal relationships within northern nigeria.
The belt, though full of brothers with whom we have a shared history should no longer be used to bind us down within a dysfunctional union. From the days when Okar collaborated with another band of eastern rebels and attempted to a Nzeagwu style coup, full of murder and blood letting to the sad declarations of jerry gana, the dangers of holding on to the belt as one of ‘our own’ has become all too apparent. There’s nothing worse than familial treachery. Had it been 1966 all over, Nzeagwu would have found willing allies from the belt and the history books would have found it way harder declaring him the tribalist he was.
Its time to let go of the belt togetber with anyone else who wants to leave Nigeria. A hatefull community is a liability to the future.