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Ohanaeze youths reject Orlu, Etiti States, back Anioma State

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The Igbo apex youth socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) has kicked against the idea of the creation of either Orlu or Etiti States.

OYC drew the resolution during a press conference held on June 22, 2024.

The conference was held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Center in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Text of the press conference was jointly signed by OYC National President, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, and the Secretary General, Comrade Ifeanyichukwu Cedric Nweke.

OYC leadership condemned the proponents of Orlu and Etiti States and supported the birth of Anioma State from Delta State.

OYC said that its support is “in line with the hallowed traditions and/or principles of equity, justice and fairness.

National President of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), Comrade Igboayaka.O Igboayaka
National President of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), Comrade Igboayaka.O Igboayaka

It said: “OYC has lent its support, in commendation, to the Dist. Senator Prince Chinedu Nwoko known as Ned Nwoko, representing Delta North senatorial district, for the well-articulated bill seeking for a creation of an additional State in the southeast geopolitical zone, in the country, to balance out politically.

“The above is steeped in the foundation of egalitarianism especially in consideration of the empirically clear political marginalisation of the southeastern part of Nigeria in terms of the number of States thereat, being the only geopolitical zone in the country with only five (5) States imbalance in contradistinction to the six (6) States hitherto maintained by the other geopolitical zones in Nigeria save North West with seven (7) Seven States.

“Thusly, the said Dist. Sen. Nwoko, in the spirit of fairness with views of nation building, through the bill, has re-echoed again, in Nigeria, at the National Assembly, the need, as well as the whyness thereof, for a creation of more States in the country, particularly to create an additional State in the southeast which would goad the political spirits, aspirations and/or interests of the southeastners in the political affairs of Nigeria with balanced political geometry for equal opportunities.

“It is within the believability of the Ohanaeze Youth Council, therefore, that any progressive and patriotic Nigerian, particularly, within the high echelons of might, power and positions as a member of National Assembly selflessly seeking for the good of the already fragile country, Nigeria, should not wring his or her hands with muted mouth against the bill but to support same as a means to promote national unity, integrity, fairness and equity as the creation of an additional State, to be known as and called Anioma State, as opposed to ORLU or ETITI State, should not be seen as portions of regional benefits.”

OYC leadership noted that injustice is ravaging Nigeria like a tornado, which are reasons why Nigeria is a sinking glory, plunging into an apology of the country our heroes past wanted her to be.

The creation of Anioma State, OYC said, will rescue and place Nigeria on the pedestal of political balance.

It accused proponents of creation of Orlu or Etiti State as exhibiting clannish mindset and selfishness.

The group stated further: “Among the proponents of creation of an additional State in southeast, like the proposed Orlu State which comprised Orlu zone, parts of Anambra and Abia States, and the proposed Etiti State comprising parts of Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, and Anambra States, only those favouring, in championship, the creation of Anioma State wear the sacred garbs of selflessness, equity and fairness.

“Besides, it’s obvious that part of ethno-political crisis in Nigeria is as a result of ceding some micro ethnic groups to a large ethnic group in one State.

“Therefore, the creation of Anioma State, considering its geography, dynamics of socio-political behaviours in the area as well as ethno-cultural topology thereof, is a blueprint and anti-dote that will settle ethnic crisis in Edo and Delta States.

“It’s reasonable, logical and a peaceful political dovetail and/or marriage to cede parts of Ndoni people in Rivers State that link to Ukwuani axis of Delta State and the following communities in Edo State such as Idumodin, Ottah, Ute – Oheze, Ugo, Igbanke, Iru egbede, Evbobanosa, Oza, Ogan, Oheze, Idumiru and others including the whole Delta North senatorial district to form the new State called Anioma State.

“The Council is aware that the creation of the six (6) geo-political zones in Nigeria were not entirely carved out on the considerations based on their geographic locations but rather on the States with similarity of ethnic groups and/or common political history at play in the same zone.”

OYC expressed a strong conviction that the creation of Anioma State falls within the principle of geo-political creation in Nigeria.

Moreso, Anioma State “has the same ethnic groups and same political history, consciousness and/or we-feelings with other States in the southeast,” it added.

“The birth of Anioma State to the southeast family will build zonal equity as same would go a long way to address the deplorable issues of marginalization of southeast zone.

“It’s historical that part of agitation in the Southeast on self-determination by Pro-Biafran groupings is because of political marginalisations and lack of unequal distributions of political structure and benefits with annoying recurring ethno-political short- changes against the Southeasterners.

“The creation of Anioma State fall in line with the justice of salvaging the mess with every equity and fairness and it’s most strategic means to address the agitation in the southeast with genre of promotion and sustainability of unity in the area,” the group emphasised.

OYC, therefore, called on the proponents of Orlu State and Etiti State to abort their bill on the ground of lack merit. and throw their weight behind Dist. Sen. Ned Nwoko for the actualization of Anioma State.

They also called upon all progressive Igbo leaders, both political and traditional, to support Senator Nwoko for a successful creation of Anioma State.

The apex youth council further called on Hon. Ugochinyere Michael Ikeagwuonu, also known as Ikenga Ugochinyere and Co to withdraw the bill seeking to birth Orlu State and sue for Anioma State already “in the labour room, for a successful delivery of the new baby state”.

Ohanaeze Youth Council warned that any politician debating for and/or pushing for the creation of Orlu State or Etiti State at the National Assembly will do so without its mandate and/or support.

They insisted that “such person(s) or group(s) is (are) the enemy(ies) to southern Nigeria in general and southeast, in particular.

The Igbo youths urged its patriotic, honourable members in the North, Middle Belt, Southwest, and South-South to see the creation of Anioma State as a regional political balance and national equity.

This, the group noted, will calm down the rate of agitation in the Southeast and ensure peaceful co-existence.

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