I just read an open letter written by the member representing the good people of Nnewi North Constituency, Hon. Sir Augustine Onyekachukwu Ike to Mr President, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu therein he prayed Mr President to create ‘Ikemba State’ (in the honour of Late Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu, the Ikemba of Nnewi) out of the present day Anambra in other to strike balance of six states in each geopolitical unit. While I sincerely commend his courage for speaking up when many of us have lost our voices, some factors must be reconsidered.
I must first of all state emphatically that the South East should as a matter of equity and fairness urgently be given another state to equate the number of states in other geopolitical zones. However, if such should be done, then it should be the creation of ABA STATE.
For the records, as far back as January 1982, the House of Representatives passed a motion for a referendum on the creation of Aba, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu states from the then Anambra and Imo States which was also later passed by the Senate in June 1983. In 1991, all the proposed states were carved out and created except ABA STATE. And forty one years after,nothing has been heard or said about the implementation of the said motion.
Logically, if elder statesmen like Akanu Ibiam and Dr M.I. Okpara have been honoured by creating states dear to them while alive, it is a moral burden that Late Senator Jaja Nwachukwu who established the Aviation School in Zaria and the first External Affairs Minister should be compensated by creating Aba state in his honour.
Demographically and economically, Aba city, which would be the economic city of the proposed ABA STATE hosts the largest private Igbo investments in the South East. There is no family in South East whose tentacles are not in Aba. Based on the 1963 census, the proposed ABA STATE has a population of over 5.6million people.
Moreover, the map and development plans of ABA STATE have been drawn over thirty years ago, hence the creation of Aba State is long overdue.
Meanwhile, I call on all the senators and members of House of Representatives from the Old Aba Zone to renew calls and tenaciously pursue the course for the realization of ABA STATE as there’s no other people-oriented bill greater than the fight for justice and equity. At the same time, Mr President should see the need to strike a balance by giving the South Easterners another state for the sake of equity.