Middle Belt group seeks collaboration of North Central governors

Niger State governor, Sani Bello

The Association of Middle Belt Ethnic Nationalities (ASOMBEN) has charged governors of the North Central states to cooperate and emulate their Southern Governors Forum (SGF) counterparts.

It said in a statement by its Chairman, Sule Kwasau and Secretary, James Pam, that there was the need for regional affiliation and collaboration with the southern governors to bring development to the Middle Belt.

ASOMBEN commended the 17 southern governors for the outcome of their recent meeting in Lagos, adding the communiqué from that meeting in which they restated the need for devolution of more powers to states and restructuring of the country to entrench true federalism was commendable.

“We admire the cooperation of the southern states irrespective of party, ethnic and religious affiliations for the purpose of economic development and peaceful coexistence of their people.

“The Middle Belt people fully support the governors stand on true federalism through a negotiated restructuring of the country,” it said.

The association refuted insinuations in some quarters that the 19 northern states were opposed to the restructuring the country.

It added that most leaders of the Middle Belt have expressed their support and desire for a true federal structure in which the Federal Government would not be so powerful and where the federating units are clearly defined and autonomous.

It said the people desired the devolution of powers through the transfer of some of the items on the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list in the 1999 constitution, adding that a situation in which states are reduced to begging the federal government for funds is undesirable.



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