Senator Abe advocates Bori state for Ogoni people
The senator representing Rivers South-East in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe has told his people not to worry about the exclusion of Bori State among eighteen new states proposed by the National Conference.
According to Abe, the power to create states under the 1999 Constitution, resides with the National Assembly, which he stressed has already acknowledged the need for the creation of Bori State.
The Senator told delegates at the mini congress of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Tai Local Government that what would likely happen is that the proposal by the National Conference would have to be reconciled with the position of the National Assembly on the issue of state creation.
“I am privileged to be a member of the constitutional committee in the Senate and all requests for states were thrown out.
“But because of the fact that the Senate committee saw that there is merit in the agitation for Bori state, the committee allowed the demand for Bori state to be represented and it was duly signed and represented to the committee.
“That was first such allowance that was made by the Senate Committee and it was presented by Gbene Sirus himself and it was received by distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
“So, our document is with the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Abe assured.
Senator Abe added that there was no justification to create states that would not be economical viable.
“If the other documents of the other 18 states are with the National Confab, let me assure you that before they will make any step, they have to bring those documents to meet our own documents, where it is already waiting.
“But the problem of Nigeria is not how we will share the cake that we have. It is how we will enlarge the cake so that it will be bigger.
“The attempt to create states without discussing the viability of individual states, without discussing the capacity of these states to sustain and maintain the structures of statehood, is wrong.
“How will they pay their bills, how will they carry out the development of their people?
“If we create non-viable states, we are actually inviting underdevelopment in Nigeria. No non-viable state will be created.
“Bori state is viable state because it has the capacity and the resources to sustain itself”.
Senator Abe also used the occasion to address the issue of the United Nations Environment Programme report of the cleaning up of Ogni land of oil pollution.
He said it was not an excuse for certain individuals to claim not to be conversant with the situation in Ogoni land simply because they had never been there.
He stressed that Ogoni people can achieve their collective desires and get to their destination if they come together and tolerate one another.
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