I Am Middle Belt

I am Otumala Jeo Great
I am from Benue State, Nigeria
When i served as a missionary in Northern Nigeria, the Northerners asked of my state of origin
When I told them I am from Benue they replied, ‘Binue’ (in their ascent) Binue Inyamiri ne(meaning Benues are Ibo(Nyem Mmiri)
When I returned from the north,
I went to Enugu State, (Southern Nigeria) to pick a wife for myself,
They asked me, “where are you from?”
Benue, I responded.
They turned to my lady and asked her;
“So you mean you didn’t see any man from Ibo land other than Onye ahusa?”

Then i thought to myself, My father does not understand ‘Inaikwuana’
Neither does he know Otutu oma
My greeting is ‘Noleyi’-Then, i remembered the great J. S. Tarka
And it quickly dawned on me that, I am not from the North
Neither am I from the south

I remember the story my father told me
About the Bat who has teeth like the dog, Ears and eyes like the rat and wings like the bird,

On the day of his death,
They searched for his kinsmen to bury him.
The Dog came and observed him and he said;
Of a truth his teeth and mouth looks like mine,
But his ears and wings we don’t have in my family,
So he is not mine
They called on the rat and he said;
His eyes are my family looks and so are his ears
But we don’t have wings in my family neither do we fly
So he is not of my kinsfolk
The bird came and observed him and said;
Surely, he has wings like my family members,
But as u can see, we do not have teeth and ears in my family,
Thus, i can’t accept him as mine
There was no man to bury the bat
I am the bat, i am neither of the north nor of the south
But I have an identity, yes, I know I have!

Why should I be killed as a southner
Or die as a northerner when I can live as a Middle Belter?
I don’t need a stray-bullet death,
I have my life to live, I am from MIDDLE BELT
I live to give my children their identity
And die to preserve their prestige
They should proudly say;

I believe in the Nigerian ideology
But not in the Nigerian political geography
I don’t know of anything like North-Central in my geography
When you can’t have South-Central
There is only North, South and the Middle Belt
The presidency had been zoned to the North over the years
If i am from the North as purported
Why am I not considered?
Why am I only good as a spokesman for the North and not a game player
I am neither enjoying the benefits of the south
Neither am I enjoying the privileges of the North

I rise to take my place
I have lived in the illusion called NORTH for too long
A useful idiot I have been
Useful as a political pawn and a game changer
But unuseful in sharing the bounties of political victory
I must wake up to who I realy am
I will not sell my conscience for money
Neither will I sell my purpose for vain alliance

There is a place called MIDDLE BELT in Nigeria
Where the braves are, there am I
And that’s who I am

By Joe Great Otumala,
Dedicated to the blessed memory of J. S. Tarka and the fourteen Middle Belt States

A speech by Otumala Joe Great
On the Occasion of the Southern Leaders and Middle Belt Coalition Forum held in Chateau De Victoria Hotels Makurdi, Benue state on 25th Feb. 2018 Leaders and Middle Belt Coalition Forum held in Chateau De Victoria Hotels Makurdi, Benue state on 25th Feb. 2018

iamjostified. Are u?


3 thoughts on “I Am Middle Belt”

  1. First off I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting
    my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to
    15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Kudos!


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