Two former military Heads of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, have assured the board of trustees of the North-central Peoples Forum (NCPF) of their support.
The leaders said the formation of the forum was long overdue and commended those who came up with the idea of the body toward catering for the needs of the geopolitical zone.
The retired former military leaders both gave their support and commendation during the visit of the board members of the forum to their hilltop residences in Minna, the Niger State capital.
In his words, General Babangida (rtd) said: “You have really made my day in the sense that I have always complained when I hear North-west, North-east, South-south and South-east, I kept asking, where do we belong? God has so blessed us with quality and calibre of people who are in this forum and who have worked for the country.
“So, I am happy that you have come together to form a formidable group and I know you would be the envy of other zones because you have what it takes to be recognised as a strong and potent group in this country.
“I have had a good look at our contributions politically, in terms of votes and I found out that the North-central zone has more votes than both the South-west and South-south, but the South-west makes more noise than the other zones.”
On his part, General Abdulsalami said, “The forum has been overdue and I am glad that eminent persons from our region brought themselves together to form the forum.
“Such a forum will benefit and galvanize into action the aim of our founding fathers with the calibre of people who are its members. I support it and you would have my understanding in delivering the purpose of the forum.
“I also want to add here that there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding within our people with the purpose the forum wishes to achieve. The issue of roads in the region is one of the issues to be addressed immediately by the forum because the roads in the region are the lifeline connecting us with our brothers in the south but unfortunately attention has not been paid to the roads.”
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of board of trustees of the forum, retired General Jeremiah T, Useni, informed the generals that they were out to take their rightful place within the North and that it was not political.
He, however said that members of the forum have sympathy for one political party or the other.
Useni, however, disclosed that the forum was working towards the creation of a North-central Development Commission since other regions already have such a commission in place.