State Creation: I will end South-East marginalization – Jonathan

By Post Nigeria March 25, 2015 19:59

State Creation: I will end South-East marginalization – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan, a few days to the presidential elections, has moved to reassure the South-East, that measures are being put in place to ease its agitation, and address whatever imbalance the region is suffering.

Jonathan assured the Southeasterners at the Imo State Council Secretariat of Traditional Rulers on Tuesday in Owerri, where he was received by the royal fathers in the State, stressing that additional states would be created in the south-east, declaring that the zone remains the hub of development in Nigeria.

President Jonathan did express concern that , before new states were considered for other regions, more than ever, the South-East needed to be brought to par with the other zones which all have more than 5 states per region.

Top of the marginalisation mantra is the fact that the zone remains the only zone with five states, whereas the North West boasts of seven states and the other zones have six states each.

A sore that the region has contended with over the years, believing that the part of “bad” politics is indicative that the civil war may have ended, but its scars left lingering.

Lately, especially with renewed effort to amend the Nigeria constitution by the National Assembly and the attempt to restructure the country starting with convocation of a national conference, the South-East zone has dusted up the file to agitate for the creation of an additional state or more in the zone to keep it at par with other zones, in the hope that as the Federal Government continues to share the allocation of the nation based on number of states and local government councils, it could get the same share as other zones.

The clamour for additional states in the zone however heightened when the Ndigbo celebrated the 80th birthday of second republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.

At that forum in Michael Okpara Square, the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, won the hearts of many when he exploited the event to further press for the demand of an additional state for South-East.

Okorocha said: “We are a great nation and only waiting for the appointed time and Nigeria is waiting on the Igbo nation.

Senator Chris Ngige stated that creation of an additional state in the zone had become necessary, lamenting that the zone was yet to get the number of states other regions have gotten.

However, the hope of creating an additional state in the South-East was brightened at the on-going National Conference when delegates recommended that a state be created in the zone.

The delegates remarked that the zone deserves a sixth state even before any other consideration for any restricting or not.

Since the confab agreement, arguments have arisen among Ndigbo on which of the agitating states would be submitted for creation.

The proposed states being canvassed by the South-East include, Adada out of present Enugu State, Orashi, which would be a combination of local governments in Anambra and Imo states, Njaba and Ugwuaku out of the present Imo State, Aba out of the present Abia State or Etitti that would comprise carved out local governments in the five states of the zone to create a new state.

President Goodluck Jonathan with the adoption of the confab report has in unmistakable terms, promised the zone at least an additional state with the intention to end the imbalance across the regions.

During the visit, the chairman of the traditional rulers council Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, had earlier in his remarks told Jonathan that the South-East people were looking up to him for an additional state, with other benefits of his Transformation Agenda.

He beckoned on the President to go ahead with his good work, adding that his transformational leadership was highly felt by Nigerians.