RE:National Assembly to create 10 more states

Source: Ben Wuloo Ikari.
Listen to article

About one week ago the National Assembly in Nigeria was reported to have showed considerable interest in creating more states. This development, as carried by the media quoted the senate president David Mark (via his media aide) as saying, "I believe that state creation is a necessary legislative exercise to meet the yearnings and aspirations of our people."

"I am convinced it would be a worthy venture. I believe that this administration has started well with constitution review and we are proceeding in considering creation of more States across the country," Mark media aide Paul Mumeh was reported to have said. Creating more states in the country is a welcome development. It's, however, not going to meet the yearnings and aspirations of those who really need new states because of their viability. Those who have the wherewithal to run their states may not get any. Yet, others who have no source of survival may get states because of where they come from. It's like the struggle of black and white in America. In Nigeria, however, the people are all black and this is unfortunate!

This arrangement which would create five more states in the north out of ten as the report went remains inequitable. It will be unjust and unfair to those whose oil/gas resources are exploited to enable the upkeep of the current nonviable states and those planned to be created that shall be nonviable. The most states in Nigeria are created along ethnic lines. And truly, Nigeria is a multi-ethnic state. Why then should some ethnic groups (Hausa Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo) be more ethnic than others such as Ijaw, Ogoni, Ibibio Ikwerre, Zango Kataf? to mention but few.

What qualifies the tripartite ethnic groups above to merit the most states in the country whereas others which are equally ethnic and distinct can't have any or few? State creation has always been done for the north and their counterparts to maintain political control and stealing the oil/gas wealth of the oil producers on whose head Nigeria acts parasitically or . This is against all principles of equity synonymous with successful federations. It's injustice!

The in-equitability that flourishes and is also celebrated in Nigeria by the North, West and East is one of the biggest problems the nation has. This problem will continue to plague Nigeria until justice is properly served. It's this lopsided or epileptic attitude in nation building, and state creation, etc. that forced Isaac Adaka Boro and his men to the trenches when they declared the Niger Delta Republic from Nigeria in 1966. Biafra had similar resentment, though its purpose was to annex or control the real owners of the oil (so-called minorities) which was its strong point fighting for secession.

Ken Saro-Wiwa also justifiably and nonviolently led the Ogoni people and the Niger Delta to fight this injustice. Saro-Wiwa and the Ogonis were murdered. Ogoni villages sacked with an army of occupation to date. These killings and intimidation didn't cow Ogonis; they sent $hell Oil and the Federal government packing from their land to this day. Asari Dokubo emerged with his armed struggle, knowing the fate that befell Ogonis for struggling peacefully. What about MEND, the most dreaded that instilled fear in the spine of the Federal government; the peoples of Nigeria and oil consumers around the world?

These injustices caused the oil war that still roars in the oil region and behind the gates of Aso rock. It's shameful that the country has refused to learn anything. What seems right to the cabals of the north and their western and eastern counterparts prevails as their population in the National Assembly place them atop others. To make excuses for these divisive and deadly behaviors the cabals and their supporters will say Nigeria will be better because it's only existed for about 50 years compared to America, which has existed for about 250 years. They've forgotten that we're in 2010 and not 14th, 15th or 16th centuries-not even the early 1900s!

Let's face it. If five more states are created for the north alone and the region continue to control the politics in Abuja, because politics is a game of number. What becomes the fate of the Niger Delta and few others whose resources fuels most of the nonviable states? The more representatives the north produces, the greater power they've to control the rest, using the heads of the west, east and few irrational politicians/rulers from south-south.

This is gross exploitation, disrespect and abuse against Niger Delta people. This thinking has caused and will still cause systemic failure, which will hurt the country forever. The only remedy is a complete turn around in all fairness and honesty. By this I mean states are irresponsibly created (like other decisions made in the nation) based on the interest of those in power and their ethnic groups and not on needs in line with viability. The so-called majority ethnic groups-the Hausa in particular dictate the pace and others concurs because of their number in both Senate and House of Reps.

From the outset, these cabals have always used population they aren't sure of as the basis on which state creation are predicated. And this is a copious design to keep the rest people forced into the contraption at gunpoint exploited to stupor hence submission. It's an ill-motivated ideology to create five additional states for the Northerners alone especially when you put these states and economic viability into context.

What the cabals have deliberately refused to acknowledge is that unsubstantiated population alone or land mass can't be the yardstick for creating states. Viability, which translates into economic and human resources and capacity are the most basis on which states could be created. That is the reason Alaska in America is the biggest state while Rhodes Island is the smallest geographically. Alaska has a population of approximately 698,473, with about 591, 004 square miles. And Rhodes Island has an approximate population of 1, 048, 319 and a land mass of about 1, 545 square miles. The most important factor for creating these states is viability-a determination to survive with what you've and not depend on others.

In nutshell, states in America (contrary to what applies in Nigeria) can create their budget and not wait for Washington to send money from Alaska or Texas oil before they can run their affairs. They however, get fiscal funds and need-based grants, etc. from the Federal government. These funds are also based upon the contribution of the states by way of tax payment among others to the center. Demand for states and other federally-based assistance in Nigeria should be based on the ability or determination to use what the proposed states have for their development. It should also depend on what these envisaged states can contribute to the central pool and not act parasitically on the oil from a weak and divided Niger Delta.

What would a population of 2.6 million or 10 million in the north or elsewhere mean without economic viability and other qualities or criteria? Nigeria is a multi-ethnic state and in this arrangement all ethnic groups are equal irrespective of size. If so, why should the North (Hausa) split itself into about 20 states? Why should other so-called majority (Yoruba and Igbo ethnic groups) spread into about 10 states? And why should the south-south or Niger Delta (with more than 30 ethnic groups), which produces more than 80 percent of national earnings and 95 percent of national export, be corralled into just 6 states?

The aforementioned empirical or ontological questions are the reasons the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people (those whose resources are exploited, their environment degraded and citizens killed that others may live) will not be met. That is why there will be continuous agitation and no peace until justice has been served. That is why the struggle for resource control by any means available and necessary shall continue. When this struggle has been achieved (and not amnesty and 50-old failed development which is government fundamental duty), those demanding and creating states will think twice. In short, the nonviable states would be scrapped as they weren't meant to be.

Then, it will be no viability no state. Failure to reach this point will lead to disintegration and no doubt about that as the people can only endure as the patience almost running out last. Nigeria must learn how to change it slippery brand into open, honest, empathetic, respectful and understandable product. A brand isn't just the product, but everything the state or nation stand for. That is integrity, honesty and fairness, justice and human rights. Others are freedom and safety, respectability and responsibility, accountability and so forth. A company or nation-state brand can't be complete without one of the above.

The wielders of power can't continue to ignore these traits. They can't continue to rob Dick to pay Angela, or Ogoni/Niger Delta to pay the North and others. The goose that lays the golden eyes refused to accept that the banks of justice is bankrupt. The National Assembly must know therefore what it's doing. It must know that the action it's embarking is mere palliative, an antidote and not the panacea needed for lasting peace, co-existence and stability. This action will hurt the nation tomorrow as we can see what complete dependent on oil is doing today. Ogoni/Niger Delta will therefore not stop demanding its rights in Nigeria until the check of justice has been successfully cashed.

National Assembly and the presidency must stop the colonial mentality of forcing on the oil resources of Niger Delta to run about, if not more than 90 percent of the states created that aren't viable. Presently, only about 10 percent of states in Nigeria can fund themselves. The rest await funds from the Federation Account like an unemployment man or woman waiting for bread from either the woman or man who is employed. If no bread is brought home by the breadwinner the "si don look" person will starve. Tell me how such nation whose states are mostly nonviable (especially when those exploited becomes aware of the gimmick) can survive. Monies allocated to the nonviable states may have transformed their physical infrastructures, but haven't transformed their economic base. Why create more of such nonviable states that will demand the blood of innocent Niger Deltans to subsist?

Is state creation a matter of pleasing the majority groups especially Northerners for the exploitation and enslavement of the goose, makers of the funds they're or shall depend upon? Or it's about needs based on viability, as synonymous with popular and stable federations? Nigeria, it's time you think and think right; understand the simple terms morality and justice; a sense of belonging, inclusion, accountability and responsibility. Or pack your bags and disintegrate because the measures you've taken so far are dissolution-prone. The saprophagous attitude of the north, west, and east must stop if there would be understandable progress.

The weak and disadvantaged shall not stay weak, but will be strong sooner than later. Yes, the dry bones shall rise again!You can trick some people some times but not all the people all the time. Just think clearly or properly and do right by the people without taking advantage of the weakest links. They may explode beyond the MEND's episode if continuously hacked. Shapesville or MEND will be like child's play when the revolution bell rings as a result of the ill-conceived state creation and other trickery aimed at exploiting and pushing them to extinction.

The gimmicks of quixotic experiment repeatedly exhibited by the cabals is a pointer for Ogoni/Niger Delta (others) to brace up for self-determination using all instruments of the United Nations to peacefully or by whatever means available and necessary divorce the artificial marriage between them and Nigeria. This is the most creative and reasonable thing to do that will stop all forms of exploitation, disrespect, abuses, internal colonization and killing by the cabals and their errant boys and girls of south south.