By Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
Key personalities in the North-central geo-political zone of the country, including retired army generals, politicians, former government officials and others, have formed a new coalition known as “The Bridge’’ amid unfolding political events in the country.
At the inaugural meeting of the coalition with representatives from all the states in the zone, Joseph Waku, a former senator who represented Benue North West senatorial district from 1999-2003 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), emerged Chairman, while Hon. Amusa Amanga emerged the Secretary.
Mr. Yusuf Yagbagi, who is the ChiefCconvener, in his opening speech, said the formation of The Bridge marks another milestone in their journey to have the first ever meeting of the group to inaugurate its board of trustees.
According to him, “We have realised that for too long now, we have been talking to ourselves; it is now time we talk to one another. Those walls that we have built around us, that make it possible for others to come; divided and conquered us, must give way so that we can stand on a united front, politically, economically and culturally.
“Our loud call to every one of us is to break our walls, use the rumbles to build bridges across and unite.”
He added that the vision of the new coalition is to make the people of North-central zone a united, peaceful, prosperous people and a home to all its nationalities irrespective of sex, religion or status.
‘’The Bridge was created out of our desire for a better North-central’s role in the present day Nigeria. We have realised that with the abundant human and natural resources in the zone we still lag behind; therefore the need to have an umbrella body that can speak with one voice for the interest of the zone,’’ the convener stated.
On his part, the former Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, said his wealth of experience in public office would assist in taking the organisation to greater heights.
“Right now, I am working for the interest of Nigerians, and with the human resources available in the North-central and the rich agricultural output from the region, we will harness them and make the region and Nigeria great,’’ Omeri, one of the conveners of the coalition said.
Some of the personalities who attended the meeting include, Senator Yusuf Nagogo, Prof. M V Sylvester, Gen. Abdulmalik H Giwa (rtd), Hon. Sam Gyang, Sam Ibrahim and others.