From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Chairman, Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Dr Bitrus Pogu, has tasked media practitioners to expose the ills affecting the already oppressed masses of the Middle Belt region in Nigeria.
Dr Bitrus stated this recently when the newly inaugurated officials of the Middle Belt Journalists Forum (MBJF), led by the President, Jonathan Ipaa, paid him a visit in Abuja.
According to him, journalists were in the best position to tell the truth so that the problems confronting the society can be solved.
He commended the group, saying he was delighted to have the media group charting a new course for the masses, who are suffering from political and economic marginalisation.
Earlier, the President of the MBJF, Ipaa, intimated that the group will be working closely with the parent body of the Middle Belt Forum to assist generate ideas, create awareness, set agenda for good governance, project the ideals of the struggle and vision aimed at protecting the oppressed and marginalised masses.
Mr Ipaa stated that his tenure will correct the anormalies which deviate the struggle from standing in for the politically and economically marginalised to only herders, farmers feuds and urged everyone on board to change the tide.
“Recall that recent events in the country require careful strategy, through united and peaceful strides. This is because we are stronger together. I am sure we want to walk far. If truly we want to walk fast, we would be walking alone but if we want to go far, we must walk together.
“I believe that our struggle can only truly be achieved through a holistic approach. This requires us as a marginalised people to work together. Inauguration therefore, provides the necessary take-off guide for these new pen leaders.
“We therefore, believe that the remarks & lectures on peaceful coexistence among our people will sharpen the scope of information expected on the struggle. To really hit the ground running, there will be workshops, conferences and consultation amongst stakeholders. We will have enormous challenges but for a start, the process to ending the unnecessary skirmish between the Tiv, Jukun and others must be pursued with zeal,” he said.
The president thanked the Solomon Lar Foundation for the thought provoking lecture on the ideals of the late emancipator which encapsulated most of their operational guides.
He, therefore, called for partnership between MBF leadership and journalists in the region, in order to actualise the aim and objectives of the forum.