In a telling statement, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has warned that the minorities in the Middle Belt will not follow the north if the country breaks up.
Gana, who is the National President of the Middle Belt Forum, at a sermon he delivered at the St. Matthew’s Church, Maitama, Diocese of Abuja (Anglican Communion), in Abuja on Sunday, berated conveners of the Coalition of Arewa Youth Groups for issuing a quit notice to Igbo living in the North.
“They think when it comes to break-up, we will go along with the North. We have already told them that if they allow this country to break up, we are not going with the North. We are staying where we are. So, just take notice. If it comes to that, we will tell you that you are Arewa and we are ‘Middle-Belters.
“We love Nigeria and it was changed to a federal system because of the minorities so that we can have a place. So, we love Nigeria but in the unlikely event that people want to go their way, the Arewa in the Sahel will go. But we will remain here in the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Gana said.
While slamming a former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University and the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, for supporting the quit notice issued by the northern youths, Gana said nobody had the right to dictate to a citizen of Nigeria where he could live.
“One of them, who also spoke is a former vice-chancellor. I thank God he didn’t sign my certificate. My own was signed by Prof. Ishaya Audu. How can a man of that stature, of that status, of that level of leadership, says he supports the youths in Kaduna to give to other legitimate citizens, an order to go? Who are you? Who says that?
“In this country, there are no second-class citizens. We are all first class. We are all sons and daughters of this land and that was why I decided to call a conference of all the minorities from 14 states and we had to state in clear words that the quit notice was totally unconstitutional. This is our home.”
According to him, “In democracy, dialogue is the language, consultation is the way. Two cannot work together unless they agree. So, there needs to be dialogue and mutual respect.
“Anywhere you have diversity of ethnicity or religion in the world, the type of system that works is federalism. And that is the way. And each one must build his federal system the way it suits him. It cannot be imposed; it cannot be engineered in favour of one person.”