The former member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency and APC chieftain, Hon Sam Onuigbo, has said called for the creation of the sixth state in the South East region.
According to the ex Lawmaker the imbalance and unfairness being witnessed by the South East is a symptom of a foundational issue relating to imbalance in the number of states within the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The former National Lawmaker made this known while appearing as a guest on Arise TV News Network.
Reacting to the topic, “The Standing of the South East Zone in Tinubu’s Government”, Hon Onuigbo posited that the perceived marginalization of the South East can be attributed to a wrong foundation, adding that this problem predates the present administration.
“That wrong foundation is that the South East is not supposed to have five states”, he said.
He noted that while the North-West has seven states and other regions of the federation have six states respectively, so the South East region with only five states would still be disadvantaged even if the ministerial positions were shared on a state basis.
“So even if you are doing a minister per state, South East will still fall short, at least two when compared to the North-West. That is something we are going to address in the near future using a constitutional amendment to be able to create a state at least to balance the South East to have six states,” he said.
Citing the works of Baron de Montesquieu and James Harrington on “Jurisprudence and Separation of Powers”, he stated that while government is continuous, with people coming and going, there is a need to institute structures that do not allow for the unfair treatment of any group.
“Now that we have made it clear that this shortfall is not in the interest of the South-East, this time, I am hopeful that we are going to look forward towards achieving that which is in the interest of the South East zone.
“Over the years, even when I was in the House of Representatives, we have been making the appeal for an additional state to be created in the South East zone. This is because the states and local governments are the things used for the distribution of positions. But when you have a shortfall from the beginning, that is a major bad foundation that you cannot easily repair. “
Hon Onuigbo also lauded President Tinubu, whom he said has shown goodwill by appointing the Chief of Naval Staff from the South East zone, which is a departure from the past eight years where the zone was not represented in the appointment of the nation’s security chiefs.
“This administration has started well by ensuring that the South East now has a member among the service Chiefs of the armed forces. This is a positive sign,” he said.
Also, he thanked President Tinubu for appointing him as the South-East representative on the Governing Board of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
“We have a saying that if you praise the man preparing akidi (beans porridge), for the one that he has prepared, he will be encouraged to prepare more for you. We have to commend him for the ones he has done, and urge him to do more. It is my appeal now to the President, who is a listening President, that as we go forward, that he will be able to look at these appeals made by South East leaders and ensure that the South East is fairly represented,” he concluded.