Ohaneze Ad-Hoc Committee On State Creation Corrupt, Incompetent
By James Ugwu
Our attention has been drawn to a publication by Comrade Paul Njoku in the social media of 17th March, 2020, on issues relating to the submission of unknown report by Ohaneze Ad-hoc Committee on State Creation.
Ordinarily, one would have ignored the write up but for being outrightly misleading to South East people and the general public, let me set the records straight.
First and foremost, there was an ad-hoc Committee set up by the Ohaneze Ndigbo. There were also State Agitation requests where Adada was one of those that appeared before them.
It was expected that the Ohaneze Committee would be fair, just and corrupt free in the discharge of this all important assignment. It was also expected that they would have conducted an in-depth research.
The assignment given to the OHANEZE INDIGBO by the Governors forum includes reading through all the documentations emanating from the state creation agitations such as Reports by the Willink Commission of 1957, ” Case for ENUGU (WAWA) STATE of 1970 and also from the creation of Old Enugu and Ebonyi states.
This should have been the correct thing so as to get them fully equipped in terms of qualifications and historical background as most of them may not have been opportuned to see such records or heard about them . That is how a thorough job ought to have been done.
May I also humbly redirect my brother – Comrade Paul , that there is a document written in 1970 and signed by the then leaders of the South East (copy available) that divided the South East into North and South, equal in Size and Population.
Presently, the Southern Igbo has three states namely; Anambra, Imo and Abia states. While the Northern Igbo has only two states namely; Enugu and Ebonyi States.
One of the reasons why the South East is crying against National imbalance is because we have only 5 states while other geopolitical zones have 6 and 7 states.
In view of the above, will there be justice if Aba State is created thereby making the Southern Igbos four states and leaving the Northern Igbos with only two states?
Paul also talked about economic viability of Aba and Land mass. From the attached documents, you will notice that ADADA has more land mass than Aba.
It is also laughable to hear my friend saying that Aba has more man-power and educational institutions than Adada which has been housing the first indigenous and prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka.
You may again need to know that we have a lot of Natural Resources such as Oil and Mineral Deposits untapped.
In terms of Local government Aŕeas, you may wish to know that the arbitrariness in Local government creation is what denied the Nsukka District headquarters from giving birth to up to 6 Local government Areas.
In fact it is the only Local government district headquarters that is not a State Capital in Nigeria. It is also the largest Local government Area in Nigeria today. I just felt like mentioning these few items in passing to enhance your knowledge.
During the submission of documents, the Adada team had intimated the Ohaneze Committee that a decision had earlier and already been taken on the 1st choice of the South East on state creation.
We had referred the Committee to a 10-man committee of Senators, House of Representatives MANDATED by the South East caucus of the NASS after a MEETING of political leaders, past and present governors, political appointees, leaders of Ohaneze Ndigbo, leaders of thought and other opinion leaders in South East to select the most qualified State out of all the agitations from South East.
This Committee after scrutinising the entire documents decided to go it democratically by voting amongst themselves. The result of the vote was as follows:
Adada – 5
Orashi – 3
Aba – 2
Njiaba – 0
The South East had by this voting made her 1st choice clear and nothing has changed it up till this moment. Therefore, the 1st choice state to be created from South East is Adada State.
It is important to note that until another round of a similar meeting mentioned above is convened and voting by NASS members of South East extraction, Adada State remains and shall remain the 1st Choice of the entire South East.
These points were even handed over to the ad-hoc committee through our documentations and orally.
Unfortunately, with all sense of deep respect, some members of the ad-hoc Committee, induced by gifts from the proposed Aba State, got involved in accepting bribes– a corrupt practice that had invariably beclouded their sense of duty.
Because of this scandalous involvement, the Committee could not even appraise our documents as submitted as to be able to see how the decision had earlier been taken.
The scandal was immediately reported through a petition (Published below) to the Office of the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo before the release of their unknown report.
Unknown because the ad-hoc Committee should submit their reports to the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo who should after studying the reports, decide the next line of actions.
But from what my friend Paul Njoku published, the ad-hoc Committee addressed their reports to the Chairman of South East governors forum. Therefore, it is not correct to say that Ohaneze Ndigbo took a decision and recommended Aba State.
It would have been the President General of Ohaneze that would send the report to the Governor’s forum on receipt and review of such report from the ad-hoc Committee on State Creation. Well put, the ad-hoc Committee became compromised in the process.
It is good to state quite categorically that no state creation request from the South East can be more qualified than Adada State.
For all intents, Adada State request met all the requirements as contained in Section 8 (1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Part 1(1) (2) of the Creation of State and Boundary Adjustment (procedure) Act Cap.C37 LFN 2004.
All the National and States Assemblies members, Elected LG chairmen and councillors from the proposed Adada State signed. Leaders of the Traditional Rulers all endorsed the document of request, even though the endorsement is not a condition precedent.
Let me reiterate that if the ad-hoc Committee or the Ohaneze General have any reason to change the earlier decision by the entire leadership of South East, they must have to convene a meeting of the NASS members past and present, Governors past and present, Ministers past and present, Traditional Rulers and leaders of thought of South East to change their earlier position.
Until that is done and another vote cast, Adada State remains the 1st choice state for creation from the South East without more.
SO THE DUTY OF OHANEZE NDIGBO IS TO SUBMIT THE STATE REQUEST – ADADA STATE – THAT HAS EARLIER BEEN ELECTED WITH THE AUTHORITY OF THE ENTIRE SOUTH EAST LEADERS.
Permit me to finally thank the commitment of my Comrade and brother in his publication but he lacks the information that are factual.
Chief James Ugwu is the PRO, ADADA State Creation Committee.