The Middle Belt Forum has described Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, a former Commissioner of Police, Lagos State as a traitor and betrayer who has never worked to promote the interests of the people of the Middle Belt zone. The Forum further declared that there is no going back in the zone’s resolve to break from the North. Spokesperson for the Forum, Dogo Isuwa stated the position of the MBF.
In his response however, Tsav described the Forum leaders are ruffians and noisemakers. He insisted that the Middle Belt would remain an integral part of the North whether the Forum likes it or not. They spoke separately with TUNDE THOMAS.
What is your reaction to the recent declaration by former Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav that nobody or group can separate the Middle Belt from the North contrary to your Forum’s position that the Middle Belt is no longer part of the North?
Who is Tsav to make that statement? Tsav should be ignored. He is speaking only for himself, and people of the Middle Belt are laughing at him. Tsav, everybody knows has never identified with anything that will bring progress to the people of the Middle Belt. Tsav is a betrayer. Although he claims to be from the Middle Belt but we doubt his claim because he has always felt more comfortable working for the oppressors of the Middle Belt people.
I’m not surprised by Tsav’s statement, he has always been a big disappointment, and embarrassment to the people of the Middle Belt. Tsav is on his own. Whether he likes it or not , there is no going back in the resolve of the people of the zone not to have anything to do with the North again. However, Tsav is free to remain in bondage if he so wishes.
How do you also react to his claim that if not for the North the people of the Middle Belt would not have been educated, and would have remained backward?
I’m not shocked that is coming from Tsav. What do you expect him to say? He has become a hunting dog for his paymasters, that is, his Northern feudal masters. Largely, it is through the missionary schools that were established by the Christian missionaries, and our former colonial masters, the British that people of the Middle Belt have access to western education.
Although former Premier of the defunct Northern region, the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello was a great leader but after him, other Northern leaders not only impoverished the Middle Belt but also underdeveloped the entire North. All of them; Ibrahim Babangida, Muhammadu Buhari, Abdulsalami Abubakar, all of them impoverished the North. Late Sani Abacha was even better. The Middle Belt has suffered tremendously under the Northern leaders, and now that we’ve broken ,and severed the cord of relationship with the North, there is no going back again.
Tsav is free to remain in bondage afterall he has always felt more at home with those terrorists oppressing the Middle Belt people. Look at that time that killer herdsmen were on rampage in Benue state killing Tivs, did you see Tsav who claims to be a Tiv condemn the killer herdsmen? He didn’t utter a word of condemnation. Not only that, he didn’t also commiserate with the families of the victims, and Benue state government. So why should anybody take such a man serious.
Tsav also described the leaders of the Middle Belt Forum as noisemakers, and attention seekers, and that you are not channeling your grievances through the right channels
Tsav is not the one that will tell us the way we conduct our own affairs. Before I even go further let me make this revelation that will shock many Nigerians. Before he became a turn-coat, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav was a Christian. He converted to Islam. Before his conversion to Islam, his Christian name is Stephen, and he attended a Catholic school. He was a devout Catholic. But immediately he converted to Islam, he started attacking Christians, and Middle Belt interests all in an attempt to satisfy his paymasters, and this is part of the reason he has never condemned the killer herdsmen who have been killing, maiming, and oppressing the people of the Middle Belt. We are taking the right decision by deciding not to have anything to do with the North again, and our decision is irreversible. I don’t know what Tsav means by the right channels, he is only being mischievious by saying that.
He said some of you agitating for a break with the North are small children who are not old enough to know about how the North has been of great benefit to the people of the Middle Belt over the years
What does he mean by saying that? That’s an insult? How old is Tsav himself? I’m over 70, how can he describe me and other Middle Belt leaders who are agitating for the liberation of the Middle Belt from the North who are all well over 70 as being children? That’s an insult. Is Tsav older that General Yakubu Danjuma, is he older than Genera Zamani Lekwot? Is he older than Commodore Dan Suleiman? This is why I said earlier that Tsav should be ignored.
How do you react to his claim that the Middle –Belt interest is better protected in the North?
Who is he deceiving by saying that? Of course, he is only deceiving himself. How can he say that the Middle Belt interests are better protected in the North when our people are being destroyed by the same North? There is no sense in staying together with people who are terrorizing us, invading our communities ,and displacing our people from their homes. To show that Tsav is a liar, he claimed that Northern Elders Forum has been talking to us on this issue, this is nothing but tissue of lies. The only time NEF met Middle Belt Forum leaders was during the last general elections where we both met with the Afenifere, Ohaneze, and PANDEF leaders to endorse Atiku Abubakar for presidency. Apart from that time ,there was no other time the forum leaders met with NEF.
Those people who still think or are claiming that the Middle –Belt zone still remains with the North are living in a fool’s paradise. Middle Belt is no longer part of the North. This is the bitter truth, and reality that Tsav, and those who are thinking or reasoning like him should accept. We don’t want to have anything with the North again. So why the desperation by the North, and its apologists? Let me also quickly add this, all these things that Tsav is doing doesn’t have the backing of any of his family members. Tsav is on his own. Members of his family have distanced themselves from him for all the nonsense that he is doing.
MBF leaders are confusionists like Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB–Tsav
The Middle Belt forum has accused you of being a betrayer over your recent declaration that nobody can separate the region from the North, what’s your reaction to that?
I have no apology for saying that. Not only that , what I’m saying is the reality. These Middle Belt Forum leaders are noisemakers seeking attention. They have no followers in the Middle Belt. And I still insist that until they take the right channels to express their grievances ,they are just wasting their time. They must follow the due process, and that’s the constitution before their grievances can be addressed.
These people are like Nnamdi Kanu, and his IPOB group who are noise makers, seeking attention. They are confusionists who know the right thing to do but are not doing it. All these agitations by the Middle Belt Forum leaders are based on hate, and not only that, it also has religious undertones. These Middle Belt leaders are nonenties who should be ignored. They are ruffians.
Is it true that you were a Christian before your conversion to Islam?
It is true. But I was born into an Islamic family but later converted to Christianity. I became a Christian through the influence of friends when I was attending a Catholic school but I later came back to Islam, and since then I have remained a devout Muslim, and I will remain so till I die. Even if my parents who were Muslims and died as Muslim are even in hell now, I’m prepared to join them in hell as a Muslim.
As an elder, have you tried to reach out to Middle Belt Forum leaders?
No I have not. But the Northern Elders Forum of which I’m a member has been talking with them. You know some of the forum’s leaders are very young, and might not have known how the North has always been of a great benefit to the people of the Middle Belt. Late Sir Ahmadu Bello ,the former Premier of the Northern region was a great leader who did a lot for the Middle Belt, and not only him but also other Northern leaders. They did their best for the Middle Belt. Without the North the Middle Belt would have remained backward.
Is it true as the forum claimed that you never symphatised with the Benue state government, and victims of killer herdsmen attacks in the state?
That’s a big lie. It is not true. Apart from condoling the families ,I was a member of a committee set up by a former governor of the state, Mr. Gabriel Suswan to look into the herdsmen crisis. We went round the state, and at the end of our assignment I advised the state government to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the crisis but my advice was not taken.
For those members of the forum who are saying that they doubt my origin, that they doubt whether I’m a Tiv man, my reply is this; I’m a bonafide Tiv born ,and bred in Benue state. But my detractors may not know this because they are small children. I mean members of the forum, they are small children so they may not know much about me. It is not only the forum people that have made this funny claim, there was a time the Benue state governor himself, Samuel Ortom said I’m not a Tiv that I come from Kano state. He further said that I’m a chief patron of Miyetti Allah, and father of Boko Haram but I’m not bothered by all these. These people are just persecuting me because I’m telling them the truth, and as the saying goes truth is always bitter. But I will continue saying nothing but the truth. I will never compromise my principles.