ELDERS of the Middle Belt Region under the auspices of the Middle Belt Elders Forum and some groups in the region declared late on Monday that they would continue to support the presidential ambition of the candidate of the Peoples Trust (PT) in the February 16, elections.
The leaders, at a meeting in Abuja late on Monday, said that the region would deliver its votes to PT’s Olawepo Hashim, notwithstanding efforts aimed at dividing the people.
The groups, led by a former chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd) insisted that Olawepo-Hashim remained their choice for the presidency in the February 16 election.
Besides Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd.) other leaders of the Middle Belt at the meeting included, Dr Musa Moda, Elizabeth Jibrin, Dr Emmanuel Enecheyo, Dr Ene, Captain Agada Joe (retd.), and Hon. Jonathan Asake.
The elders further declared that they had resolved to leave no stone unturned in actualising the political emancipation of the region.
According to Dan Suleiman, “This is very heart-warming because there are some events happening these days which begin to give one doubt as to whether Middle Belt is splitting.
“Last Sunday this meeting was called and another meeting was called elsewhere and some of our Middle Belt elders went there.
Today the same thing happened. This is not by accident.
“I am beginning to feel that there is an effort to side-line Middle Belt or to side-track Middle Belt. We have to be very careful that we are not dragged to the sidelines.”
Suleiman claimed that the Middle Belt had originally reached a decision alongside the groups in the Southern part of the country to produce a Christian presidential candidate.
The Middle Belt Elders also indicated that the reported Middle Belt endorsement of the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, was an attempt to divide the Middle Belt ahead of the presidential election.
The leader of Coalition of Middle Belt Groups, Mr Suleman Dauda Sukukum, said that the groups would work assiduously for the success of Olawepo-Hashim in the February 16 polls.
He described Olawepo as a bridge builder and unifier of the Northern and southern Nigeria, adding that the presidential hopeful is the “contemporary amalgamation of the North and the south .”
An excited Olawepo-Hashim appealed to Nigerians to remain peaceful and united even as he urged them to vote for a credible alternative that would uplift Nigeria to greater heights.