State Creation: How Realistic?

The applications cum agitations for creation of states from around the country and the seeming slow pace in response from the Senate Committee on Review of the Constitution led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu which is in-charge of the whole process is giving agitators concern especially when it is considered that Ekweremadu’s committee has made it abundantly clear that it cannot rush the process given its sensitive nature more so, it will have to push its recommendation to the State Houses of Assembly.

 Though Ekweremadu’s committee stated that it is bent on working to achieve the goal of creating some states to prove a point which according to the Deputy Senate President is that, states can be created in a democratic setting and not just only in a military dispensation but the voices are rising against the committee are creating doubts over its seriousness and sincerity particularly in ensuring that states are created for those with genuine demands. In some quarters it is believed that one of the major reasons why the process is slow is the secret plot of highly placed members of the committee and leadership of the senate to ensure that they benefit by creating states for their people or geo-political zone.

 This argument however has been watered down by the cold war between the agitators of Adada States (from Enugu) and Ekweremadu who is not only their son but political leader. Ekweremadu made it point blank when the agitators of Bori State (from Rivers) visited the committee recently that their request was well presented since they followed the due process. He added that it will be given adequate attention because they acted peacefully and within the confines of laid down rules and regulations.

 In the meantime the request for states from almost all the 36 states of the federation has taken an ethnic dimension which makes the whole exercise very tedious for the committee. For instance from Rivers State come two set of demands. One for Bori State to cover for the Ogoni nation and its environs and the second is Ikwere State to cater for the Igbos of Rivers State. In Benue State the people of Idoma where the Senate President David Mark comes from are asking for Apa State just as the Tivs are requesting for another state called Gboko.

 There are similar agitations across the country like the Njaba and Orashi States from present Imo State. However the committee must show transparency to ensure that states are created on merits especially as the South East geo-political zone is suggesting that it needs a state to balance the equation of six for each zone in the present configuration of the country before the issue of additional states could be looked into.  The only time that a thorough job can be said to have been done by Ekweremadu’s committee is when the minority ethnic groups stop the insinuation that they have been marginalized in the Nigerian project. That is when the aim of state creation could be said to have been achieved or realized.


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