Just as prominent sons and daughters of Igbo extraction are jubilating over the proposal of the National Conference Committee on Political Restructuring to create an additional state for the South-East region, northern delegates at the Conference have vowed that the proposal would not see the light of day.
The delegates are, therefore, mobilising to scuttle the proposal before it gets into the final resolution.
Incidentally, the committee on political restructuring is co-chaired by a northerner, Mukaila Muhammed and General Ike Nwachukwu.
Spokesman for the northern delegates at the conference and former Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum ACF, Anthony Sani, described the agitation for an additional state as misplaced.
Sani argued that the agitation for the creation of an additional state for the South-East in order to ‘pacify’ the region was faulty, as no one had wronged anyone.
He further argued that the present situation where many of the states were not economically-viable and where many of the governors had contributed to the underdevelopment of the country, it would be unwise to create more states.
His words: “When people say we should create states to pacify them (South-East), the impression one gets is that a wrong has been done. It is not so.
“To create states, there are conditions that must be met. One, how homogeneous, the population, the landmass and lastly, the viability. All these are there.
“We have insisted, in the light of so many created and which have led to the underdevelopment of the country while some are not viable, that will it be politically correct to still create states? We have to address that.
“I feel a bit worried when the South-East insists that on the basis of equality, there must be six states. When people say appease, it is as if they have been wronged.
“South-West was a region and it has six states. The old Eastern Region has nine. The whole of the North, which is half or even more than half of the country, has just 19. You do not just create states like that”.
On whether the northern delegates will shoot down the proposal before the final report of the conference, Sani affirmed that the North would move against it, stressing that it would amount to injustice against her people.
“If it is on the basis of equality that they are making that suggestion, we are going to counteract it. Have they forgotten that injustice is not just when equals are treated unequally but when unequals are treated equally?”