Middle Belt leaders in Lagos to meet Ambode, Agbaje | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Middle Belt leaders in Lagos to meet Ambode, Agbaje

Posted: Apr 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos

Ahead of the governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday, Chairman of the Middle Belt Traditional Council (MBTC) in the South West Nigeria, Amb. Ochi Emmanuel Ode, the Ojikpururu 1 of Ibilla, Oju, Benue State, will between now and Friday this week lead Middle Belt indigenes to town hall meetings with the two frontline candidates in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A statement issued by the council’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abubakar Agene, made available to Daily Independent on Wednesday, said the meetings are in recognition of the fact that non-indigenes and royal fathers are the last hope for the successful conduct of the governorship election in the South West, especially Lagos State.

Amb. Ode, who recently emerged the South West MBTC chairman, said that during the meetings, the leaders are expected to, among other things, demand from both Agbaje and Ambode proper representation of the Middle Belt in the next administration of Lagos State.

Although the time and venue of the separate town hall meetings were not disclosed, Ode assured that they will surely meet with both candidates before the Saturday election.

The statement stressed that the outcome of the meetings may determine the candidate who will get the bloc votes of Middle Belt indigenes come Saturday.

The proposed meetings, he added, are coming after the MBTC and similar Arewa groups recently met with the Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Wing of the Tafawa Balewa Square at the instance of the Presidency, over the just-conducted presidential and National Assembly elections.

Top PDP chieftains in the South West, including Agbaje and Olabode George participated in the meeting, which precipitated grounds for further meetings ahead governorship and state Assembly polls.

Following the success of that meeting, the MBTC leader said he deemed it important to also get the governorship candidates committed to the cause of the tax-paying and law abiding Middle Belt indigenes resident in Lagos, hence the planned town hall meetings with Agbaje and Ambode.

The outcome of the meetings, he said, will be made known to all members of council in Lagos before the Saturday election.

MBTC comprises all traditional chiefs, chairmen, presidents of the Middle Belt ethnic nationalities in the South West, including representatives of women and youth groups.

Ochi listed the primary aims and objectives of the institution, which he said is apolitical, to include, among other things, the unity of all the Middle Belt sons and daughters, seeking recognition for the region in the country, being its mouthpiece and attracting development to the region.

The ethnic nationalities in the composition of the MBTC include Igede, Idoma, Igala, Etulo, Tiv, Rindere, Ngas, Eggon, Zagon Katarf, Alogo, Berom, Mada, Izere, Ibira, among others