Benue people see their state more of being part of Middle Belt than Northern Nigeria.
Officially, Lord Lugard, the colonial man, placed Benue as part of Northern Nigeria but both the way of life of the people and the natural environment just doesn’t blend much with the core North.
This was part of the reason why Joseph Sarwuan Tarka, a high end politician in the area, spearheaded the Middle Belt emancipation movement – even the name of his party indicated it: “United Middle Belt Congress, UMBC”
Tarka left but the project continued.
Although Nigeria has states as federating units, President Sani Abacha administration created 6 geo-political zones for the country. This was a brainer policy because the North and South grouping arrangement didn’t work as it should.
It will make much sense to create more states along minority areas in the Middle Belt, Niger Delta, some areas in the core North, among others, to bring more power and sense of belonging to the country’s ethnic minorities who ironically constitute arithmetic majority but still remain a sociological minority.
Only if all ethnic groups in Nigeria are carried along the people will have nationalism traits in them and will be ready to do more for Nigeria but not own disproportionate allegiance to themselves and tribes as it’s obtainable in some quarters today.
If all are given more power and sense of belonging most of the problems holding back Nigeria will disappear and the nation will move forward up to expectations.