Middle Belt Dialogue (MBD), an umbrella body of all ethnic nationalities in the middle belt has said that although President Goodluck Jonathan the failed the Middle Belt after voting en masse for him during the last elections, the region wont fare better under All Progressives Congress, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd).
The Group in a communiqué signed by Hon. Aminu Zang, Mr. Lanre Obafemi, Mr. Mark Jacob and the facilitator of the MBD, Mr. Rima Shawulu Kwewum and made available to journalists yesterday in Kaduna after its strategic summit which held in Jos said middle belt citizens will be rewarding Boko Haram if Buhari is elected as president.
“We have watched in awe as hostile regions and personalities to Jonathan, particularly in the north, attract, secure or corner appointments and projects.
“It is obvious that as a result of our huge political investment by our communities in 2011, they have been exposed to unimaginable genocide and consequent untold hardship, while governments at the state and federal levels have appeared indifferent to the suffering of our people.
“As a result of the genocide, agriculture which hitherto had been the mainstay of the Middle Belt and a major source of economic stability of our people has been ruthlessly disrupted thereby laying the foundation for food insecurity in the country at large.
“Comparable to operations of the Janjaweeds during the slave trade era, Fulani militias and Boko-Haram have ravaged and destroyed our communities, attacking serene, quiet settlements in the Middle Belt, thereby killing thousands of people between 2011 to 2014 and sacking hundreds of villages, ensuring that our communities and people were displaced from their regular homelands before the 2015 elections.
“If our people have been so single-mindedly targeted for genocide at a time that the patrons of the Fulani militia and Boko Haram are not in power, how much more would they be able to do should their patrons be put in charge of the federal government?
“Although the federal government allegedly provided funds to state governments to pay compensation to victims of the 2011 post-election violence, it is clear that governors across the north circulated these funds to the communities that perpetrated the violence, destruction and killings.
“The churches and Christian victims have not been rebuilt nor has such compensation been extended to families of victims. No political party or candidate shall be given unconditional support by the Middle Belt.
“Upon careful consideration of the issues above, and the need to invest in the safety and future stability of the Middle Belt, the summit resolved to support the candidature of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election on clearly articulated conditions that the secretariat of the MBD has been mandated to negotiate with the president.
“The political independence of our people is too precious to be sacrificed in appeasing those who believe that our people should not have access to political power.
“The summit therefore unanimously resolved that irrespective of our political leanings, all ethnic nationalities should vote en mass and ensure the success of President Jonathan at the polls in the February 14, presidential election.
“While we are obviously not completely satisfied with Jonathan, we will be eroding our freedom and would be paying/rewarding Boko Haram by even remotely considering the possibility of voting for Buhari.”