Creation of new states are always geared at correcting past mistakes and fundamental flaws in demography, population and sometimes, consideration for an ethnic bloc inclusion or exclusion.
This is more reason why every exercise bothering on state creation must be painstakingly, efficiently and patriotically done by those who the constitution have been saddled with that sensitive and onerous responsibility so as not to further compound the problems and challenges in the country.
The newly proposed twenty (20) states by senate committee on constitution review is a time bomb that federal government, as well as the Senate leadership must take all the necessary measures and precautions to prevent its explosion.
In the list, five (5), four (4), three (2), four (4),three (3), and two (2) new states are proposed for the North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-East, South-South andSouth-West respectively.
It’s clear to the discerning minds that the exercise is flawed, haphazardly and inefficiently done and would no doubt create more problems than they’re meant to solve. If per adventure the proposal is approved, the North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-East, South-South and South-West would have totality of eleven (11), ten (10), eight (8), nine (9), nine (9) and eight (8) states respectively.
No doubt, the above revelation is a calculated and deliberate attempt not only to impinge on the majority status which South West geo-political zone has long been enjoying, but also to embarrass, ridicule and degrade the people of the zone not minding their gargantuan contributions to the progress, growth and development and essentially, the unity and indivisibility status of this country from its inception.
The pertinent question to ask is that; how come five (5)additional states are proposed for the North East which is presently equal in number of states with South West? What rationality in proposing the carving of additional four (4) statesfrom North West that couldn’t be used in doing the same with South West?
For instance, Lagos with awesome population of about 25 million and unarguably, the commercial octopus of the nation, perhaps even bigger than Kano, is long due for splitting into at least three states.
Of course, one other state could necessarily be carved out from Osun and likewise Ondo state in view of their large land mass and population. How South East, could with their smaller population and perhaps smaller land mass be granted 4 additional states in the proposal remains baffling and very disturbing and in any case, to achieve what?
And of course, the South South geo-political zone attracted 3 more states in addition with 6 they presently have! How do we justify this injustice and blatant awkwardness?
Who is afraid of the SouthWest geo-political zone and therefore working spiritedly to degrade it? Who is interested in the implosion of Nigerian nation, possibly arising on account of this exercise?
It’s important to emphasize that, South West zone has been a major ethnic bloc since Nigeria berthed as a nation and would continue to remain so as long as Nigeria remains a corporate entity.
It’s also necessary to reiterate that the zone has over the years been the economic nerve of the country and would continue to be. Since the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates into Nigeria entity, the zone has been an important and strategic bloc in the country and this fact can’t be controverted.
Even in the colonial days beginning with Clifford, Richardson, Lyttleton and Macpherson eras, the zone has always been a major bloc and dominant segment of Nigeria entity. Of course, the importance and essence of the zone was further exemplified from the day Nigerian attained independence status, as three major ethnic groups emerged-Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo and this ran up to post independence of military regimes of AguiyiIronsi, General Yakubu Gowon, OlusegunObasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, Abdusalam and of course civilian governments of SheuShagari, Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent president, Muhammed Buhari.
The 1999 Constitution as amended, also recognizes the existence of the three major ethnic groups as Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo and this can’t in any way be disputed. At this juncture,we need to enquire; who is to blame for the haphazard job done in this proposition of the twenty (20)states?
The senate, the South West Senators at the upper chamber or the people of the zone? I’m strongly of the view that senators representing the zone has been thoroughly found wanting in this matter, as it seems they’ve not in any way represented the interest of the zone the way they ought to have.
If not, they won’t be sitting down at the plenary where deliberate and calculated attempts were been made to completely downgrade Yoruba ethnic bloc to minority, in a country where they have rightly remained a dominant ethnic group since the birth of Nigeria.
The zone’s senators would not sit unconcerned at the plenary where attempts were been made by their counterparts from other zones to relegate, degrade and absolutely reduce the influence of the zone within the corporate Nigerian.
They won’t be there running after other mundane things like contracts awards and pecuniary interests at the expense of the good people of the zone who rigorously and spiritedly struggled to give them the mandates to be in the upper chamber to defend and protect the interests of the zone at all times.
Our senators at the chamber must be conscious of the fact that the people of the zone, just like Chiefs Obafemi Awolowo, LadokeAkintola, Herbert Macaulay, Bola Ige, AdekunleAjasin, LateefJakande, Abraham Adesanya, LamidiAdedibu and others, in their graves are not happy with their dereliction of duty, negligence and their lack of consciousness of the importance and significance of their presence in upper chamber and more importantly, their non-awareness of the pride, respect and dignity of the people they are representing.
Finally, we call on the Senate President and the entire senate to throw back the thoughtless, awkward and very inefficiently, as well as haphazardly done proposal back to the concerned committee to restart the exercise all over again with the mandate to call for fresh memorandum of agitations for states creation from different zones and therefore arrive at very objective position capable of guaranteeing fairness, equity and justice, as well as prevent an unnecessary implosion in the country.
Kola AMZAT (FCA, FCIB, ACS, CTP.MBA)
Lagos based Financial & Management Consultants