Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State has advocated for a president from the Middle Belt States after President Goodluck Jonathan must have completed his tenure and therefore urged the region to brace-up for the possibility of producing the country’s next leader.
Jang made this known in his address at a one day consultative forum with likely delegates from the North Central that would represent the region at the proposed National Conference.
The Plateau governor lamented that the Middle Belt had suffered neglect by past administrations due to lack of unity among citizens of the zone.
“If we unite God will anoint, the next president after Jonathan from the middle belt, so (we) must prepare to produce the next president after Jonathan”, he said.
Jang blamed the current challenges confronting the zone as well as the entire country on an older living generation that held leadership positions both in the states and at national level.
“We of the older generation might not have done well, but for the fact that we are on our way out with one leg in the grave and another still on earth, we must not destroy the country for the younger generation”, he pleaded.
Chairman of Middle Belt Forum and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, stressed the need for issues of insecurity to be extensively discussed and addressed during the national dialogue. He revealed that the Middle Belt would insist on matters of fiscal federalism during the conference and urged other zones to support its position.
“Matters of fiscal federalism should be discussed. We must get our priority right, security and welfare of the people should be the primary purpose of our agenda. We want to ensure stability in Nigeria”, he said.
The former minister and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chieftain challenged the expected delegates to be critical in their deliberations.
“Our people are depending on you. We expect that nobody should complain of marginalisation after the national conference, therefore you must debate, deliberate and harmonise all the points to present at the conference”, he said.
A former presidential candidate on the joint platform of the now defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the All People’s Party (APP), Chief Olu Falae, in his address, urged expected delegates to deliberate on the return of regional governments. According to him, this would bring the government come closer to the grassroots. He also advocated state police for effective policing in Nigeria.
He also called for proper funding of non-oil producing states to enable such states invest in an alternative source of revenue as, according to him, revenue from oil might dry up in the future.
Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, attributed the current security and economic challenges to poor leadership and poor governance.
Most speakers at the consultative forum urged Nigerians to disabuse their minds of talks of the imminent disintegration of the country.