Fifty years after the civil war, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has said that the nation is worse today than it was in 1967.
It said the nation was facing “unbridled nepotism, sectionalism and undisguised marginalisation of major sections of the country in pursuit of the Fulanisation agenda.”
The forum said the agenda had manifested in an ethnic group dominating the heads of the three arms of government, the leadership of all security agencies, finance sector and communications.
The leaders said appointments were being made “in a manner suggestive of a rehash of the planning stage of the genocide against the Tutsis by the Hutus in the Rwanda war.”
The position of the forum was contained in a communique issued at the end of the SMBLF meeting in Abuja on Monday, after an exhaustive deliberation on the state of the country 50 years after the civil war.
The meeting was presided over by the Pan Niger Delta Forum’s leader, Chief Edwin Clark. He was supported by Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo; and President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus.
The communique was signed by the forum’s co-spokespersons, Yinka Odumakin (South-West); Gen. C. Iherike (South-East); Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South); and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt).
The communique read, “The meeting observed with sadness that Nigeria today is under worse irresponsibility of power than it was in 1967 when the first civil war occurred with unbridled nepotism, sectionalism and undisguised marginalisation of major sections of the country in pursuit of Fulanisation agenda.”
The forum frowned on the visa-on-arrival policy of the government, alleging that it was a ploy to facilitate the invasion of the country by foreign herdsmen.
The SMBLF further stated that the policy was designed to change the demographic composition of the nation with the attendant insecurity by foreign terrorists.
It said, “Meeting was not comfortable that 50 years after the war, diplomatic protocols and multilateral agreements on movement of citizens across borders enacted by Acts of Parliament are being overthrown by presidential proclamations to obviously facilitate the invasion of our country by Fulani herdsmen through the visa-less entry to change the demographic composition of Nigeria.”
The SMBLF lauded South-West governors for setting up Operation Amotekun and called on other regions to emulate the move to protect their people.
It also insisted on state policing and admonished the people to continue agitation for it as well as clamour for the overall restructuring of the country.
The forum said, “What is currently on the exclusive list is policing which is wrong under federalism as federating units in this country once had Native Authority police before as is usual of multi-level policing under a federal structure
“While we encourage our states to make do with Amotekun types as a temporary measure, the demand for state police must be intensified within the overall restructuring of Nigeria.”
The group said it was disturbed by reports alleging that the National Identity Management Commission was registering illegal immigrants.
It demanded explanations from the agency on this.