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NEW OYO STATE WILL BE CONSIDERED, SAYS BANKOLE

By NBF News

Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole, yesterday, assured New Oyo State Forum (NOSFOM), agitating for the creation of new Oyo State that the National Assembly will consider its request. Receiving a large delegation of NOSFOM, Bankole said the people of the area were eminently qualified to have a state of their own.

'How can I say no to your request? You have totally surrounded me. You have laid an ambush that only am 'untrue' son of Yoruba would not oblige to your request.

'I' m not a Speaker for Yoruba land alone but a Speaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but of Yoruba extraction.

'You are absolutely qualified to have a state. But go back home and tell Kabiyesi that you need to consult widely with other stakeholders and work hand in hand with your lawmakers from Oyo,'' he said.

The Speaker who hails from Ogun State, enjoined the agitators to talk more to other members of the parliament and convince them on why the New Oyo State should be created, bearing in mind that both Ijebu and Egba provinces in Ogun State, were not yet a state.

In the memorandum for the creation of New Oyo State, presented by Prof. Sayed Malik, he remarked that the request for the creation of the state started in 1979, wherein the defunct National Assembly in 1983 passed a motion for its creation.

Malik argued that the present Oyo State was the largest state in terms of landmass in the South-West geo-political zone with over 5,580,894 million people, based on the 2006 Population census, with 33 local governments.

'It is a state that deserves to be split into two states of Oyo and Ibadan. The area being proposed as new Oyo State consists of Oke Ogun, Oyo and Ogbomoso zones,'' he said.

If created, the proposed new state, according to him, would have 19 local governments and a population of 2.7 million, adding that the new state had rich cultural heritage, linguistic affinity and geographical continuity.

He said the capital of the proposed new Oyo State would be Oyo town because the old Oyo kingdom was the headquarters of Oyo Empire, which extended beyond the boundary of Nigeria.

Agitators of the new state, he stated had done their home work to the extent that the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, members of Oyo caucus in the National Assembly, religious and traditional leaders across the zone have signed and endorsed the request for the creation of new state.

'We are convinced that the creation of New Oyo state is of strategic significance for the achievement of even and balanced development and peaceful co-existence in the South West geo-political zone and the country at large'' he said.

The memorandum for the creation of the new Oyo State was presented by the Chairman of the group, Chief F.A.A. Taiwo to Bankole, accompanied by Mr Kamil Akinlabi, Peoples Democratic Party PDP Oyo State.