By Nicholas Dechi
Retired Air Commodore Dan Suleman, the Leader of Middle Belt Forum, has urged Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, to unite minority tribes in Nigeria with a view to forging common front for the interest of the country.
Suleman made the call on Friday during a visit to the Tor Tiv in Gboko to condole with him over the demise of late Simeon Tarka.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deceased, the son of the late Joseph Tarka, was a member of House of Representatives during the Second Republic.
He commended the paramount ruler over his patriotic and fatherly role, particularly in attending to matters that have to do with the unity of minority groups.
He equally commended his role in ending the rift at the borders communities of Benue and Taraba states, and ensuring peace in those areas.
Suleman alleged that those fueling the crises were common enemies of the region whose mission is to destroy it.
The middle-belt leader said that the region had continued to witness marginalisation in spite of the huge contributions of its people towards ensuring that Nigeria remains one.
He described the death of Tarka as a great loss not just to the people of Benue but the middle belt and the country at large.
Responding, the Tor Tiv, thanked the leadership of the forum for the visit and described it as a reflection of the unity the late Tarka fought and died for.
“I am deeply pained over the death of the late Tarka because it is a great loss.
“I want to sincerely thank members of the powerful delegation of the forum for the condolence visit and for keeping the middle belt flag flying.
“You stood firm when we had challenges in the region and I must commend you for that.
”As a father, I have always encouraged the political class to strengthen the forum with the view to sustaining the identity among our ethnic groups so that we can also have a say in the affairs of the Nigeria,” he said.
Ayatse decried spate of inter and intra ethnic crisis among the tribes of the middle belt and called for more synergy in order to move the region to a greater height.