Senate President, Senator David Mark, today in Quebec, Canada said that time has come for the country to shift from the ideology of state of origin to embrace state of residence.
He said that immediate elimination of state of origin and enthronement of state of residence would go a long way to enhance peaceful co-existence and cement relationship in the country.
Mark stated this after the opening ceremony of the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, with the theme “Citizenship, identity, linguistic and cultural diversity in a globalised world” holding in the North American country.
He noted that the issue of state of origin would be addressed at the on-going constitution review as he wondered why a person who has lived in a particular place for 20 years and performing all necessary civic responsibilities could not become an indigene of the area.
He said, “You should know that one of the issues we’ve been discussing in Constitution amendment is shift from state of origin to state of residence because it is an important issue.
“You are resident in a place for 20 years and still, they don’t take you as part and parcel of that place.
“I think it’s a difficult task but in my candid opinion, I think if we have an open mind and we approach it from a nationalist perspective, rather than a small, clannish perspective, I think we would get it right.
“Let’s forget the business of state of origin and go to state of residence.
“Once you are resident in a place and you perform your civic responsibilities for the period, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t benefit, provided of course you don’t claim dual residency.
“Some Nigerians may be very clever. They would come from Ondo State and are resident in Benue, when the benefits of Benue are not commensurate with their expectations, they shift to Ondo State.
“We can’t have that. Once you take a particular area, you should just be a part and parcel of that particular state.”