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Anioma State proposal: path, implementation, and regional advantages explored ~ by Charles Ude

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INTRODUCTION

Senator Ned Nwoko, renowned for his advocacy in Delta North, champions bills and motions of profound societal impact. Recently, he affirmed his intent to sponsor legislation for the establishment of ‘Anioma,’ a prospective state in the South-East.

Presently, this region comprises five states, whereas others boast six, barring the North-West, which possesses seven. Senator Nwoko posits that creating Anioma State would rectify a longstanding historical disparity.

“Invoking the Doctrine of Necessity: Steps to Establish Anioma State”

Given the current security situation in the South-East geopolitical zone, the President can invoke the doctrine of necessity to facilitate the creation of Anioma State. This legal principle allows for actions deemed essential and in the state’s best interest, even if not explicitly provided by law.

Typically invoked in emergencies or to address critical issues beyond normal legal processes, the doctrine of necessity can justify the establishment of Anioma State as part of the South-East.

Political and Strategic Advantages of Creating Anioma State

The inclusion of Anioma State in the South East Region is a matter of fairness and representation, presenting numerous strategic political benefits.

Here are several compelling arguments in support of this proposition:

Strengthening Political Unity: Adding Anioma State would enhance the political unity of the Igbo people, creating a more cohesive and consolidated front. This would result in stronger political representation and influence at both regional and national levels.

A united South East Region would be better positioned to advocate for its interests and secure a fair share of resources and political power.

Expanding Electoral Base: Anioma State’s significant population would bolster the electoral base of the South East Region.

This increased voting strength would amplify the region’s voice in national politics, leading to better representation, more attention from political parties, and the ability to negotiate favorable policies and development projects.

Reducing Fragmentation: Currently, Anioma is divided among Delta, Edo, and Anambra States, which dilutes the political influence of the Igbo-speaking population.

Creating Anioma State would consolidate and concentrate the political power of the Igbo people, ensuring a more united and cohesive political front.

Balancing Regional Power: The addition of Anioma State would balance political power within the South East Region, fostering a more competitive political landscape.

This competition would lead to greater accountability, better governance, and ultimately, improved development outcomes for the people.

Enhancing Negotiating Power: The creation of Anioma State would strengthen the South East Region’s ability to negotiate with the federal government and other regions.

With a dedicated state government representing Anioma’s interests, the region would have a stronger position to advocate for its needs, secure infrastructure projects, attract investments, and address specific challenges faced by the people of Anioma.

“Advocating for a New State in the South-East: Compelling Arguments”

The southeastern region of Nigeria, encompassing Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo states, grapples with significant security challenges. This turmoil includes violent clashes between Nigerian security forces, unidentified gunmen, and the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Regular reports of violence, kidnappings, and the disruptive “sit-at-home” mandate every Monday have severely impacted the region’s socio-economic activities.

The separatist movement, spearheaded by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu — currently detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) — has intensified these tensions, advocating for an independent Biafra.

Renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, with commercial hubs like Onitsha and Aba, the southeast suffers economically due to these disturbances.

Marginalization concerns persist, as many in the region feel neglected by the central government concerning infrastructure development, political representation, and resource allocation. These deficits have stifled the region’s economic potential and fueled separatist sentiments.

Politically, the southeast has struggled to assert itself on the national stage. Debates around power-sharing, resource allocation, and political representation remain contentious.

The region has yet to produce a Nigerian president, and lacking an additional state since 1999 has resulted in fewer senators, federal representatives, ministerial slots, ambassadorial appointments, and other key political positions.

“Pathway to Establishing Anioma State: Legislative Steps and Presidential Support”

The creation of a new state in Nigeria is a constitutional matter that necessitates a legislative process and a constitutional amendment. This cannot be achieved through an emergency decree or bypassing established legal procedures.

The President of Nigeria lacks the authority to unilaterally create a state by proclamation. Instead, the creation of a new state requires a constitutional amendment, which can only be enacted through the National Assembly’s legislative process.

To initiate the establishment of Anioma State as part of the South East Region, the President can play a pivotal role by advocating and supporting the process.

Here are some steps that can be taken:

Executive Support: The President can publicly endorse the creation of Anioma State and prioritize it within the government’s legislative agenda.

This endorsement can generate momentum and rally support from National Assembly members.

Proposal to the National Assembly: The President can submit a detailed proposal to the National Assembly for the creation of Anioma State.

This proposal should articulate the socio-economic, cultural, security, and political justifications for its establishment.

In conclusion, the inclusion of Anioma State in the South East Region would bring about several political benefits. It would strengthen political unity, expand the electoral base, reduce fragmentation, balance regional power, and enhance the region’s negotiating power.

Recognizing Anioma’s political significance and addressing its people’s aspirations would solidify the South East Region’s position in Nigeria’s political landscape, fostering a more inclusive and representative governance structure.

I want to use this opportunity to thank Senator Ned Nwoko for his leadership in advancing the arguments for creating an additional state for the South-East Region of Nigeria.

I urge well-meaning Nigerians to support this initiative. The release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the creation of Anioma State in the South-East Region will finally address the perceived marginalization of the Igbo people, and history will forever remember President Tinubu.

Charles Ude, Esq. is an Abuja-based legal practitioner.

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