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We reject secession, say North Central leaders

By Onyedi Ojiabor, Abuja

Political, traditional and religious leaders from the Northcentral on Tuesday distanced themselves from plans by some ethnic groups to break away from Nigeria.

Registering their opposition to such plan, the leaders said the zone remained for the country’s unity. They spoke in Abuja under the aegis of the North Central Peoples’ Forum (NCPF).

They noted that the location of the zone has naturally bestowed on it the task to keep the country one.

Their spokesman Sule Dikeson told reporters that they are tired of watching helplessly as their people are being killed by alleged foreign invaders.

Dikeson said that they are working out modalities to ensure peace in the zone so as to protect the people of the region.

He described as worrisome that only on Monday, over 27 people were allegedly killed in Agatu, Benue State, noting that the Northcentral zone should produce Nigeria’s next president.

He said: “Once you give the leadership of the country to the zone, the country will be united because all tribes are represented in the Northcentral.

“We don’t believe in secession. We believe in the unity of the country. That is why we want to host a security summit to brain storm for workable results.

“We should be the peace builders and those who should be the bridge because we are at the centre of Nigeria. We must work to promote peace within our zone. Our leaders can’t watch and see our people killed.

Dikeson said that prominent leaders from the region, including former heads of State, governors and National Assembly leaders, will proffer solutions at the summit.

He said: “Former governors and leaders from the region will be in attendance. Former military generals and prominent persons will come. These former leaders are working on this summit and they will find a solution to the problems of Nigeria. Those attacking our people are foreigners who have been given the opportunity to come in and kill our people. We need to find a way to stop these people.

“The conference will not be a talk shop. We are a non-partisan body. We are concerned about the security and welfare of our people. We are reaching out to the people that matter ahead of 2023. The geopolitical zone will work together and ensure that whoever is qualified is given the opportunity.”

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