This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Ekweremadu - Outcome of Referendum Will Decide State Creation

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Tuesday allayed the fears of Nigerians on state creation, saying no state would be created unless the reports of the referendum from various local governments support it.

Ekweremadu who is also the Chairman of Constitution Review Committee in the Senate, made this disclosure while receiving traditional rulers from six local government areas of Akwa Ibom State.

Ekweremadu, who said the National Assembly would not be intimidated by any individual or groups from giving Nigeria an amended constitution that reflects their true wishes, also disclosed that the referendum on state creation would be transparent, adding that it is the people that will decide whether they want a state or not.

He was responding to agitation by traditional rulers from Eket, Esit Eket, Onna, Mkpat Ennin, Ikot Abasi and Nsit Local Government Areas the state, who had visited the Senate Tuesday.

Led by Chairman of Akwa Ibom Council of Traditional Rulers in the state, Edidem Udo Ntuk, the monarchs told Ekweremadu that they had read a memorandum for the creation of 'Oil Rivers State' out of the present Rivers and Akwa Ibom States that was submitted to the National Assembly.

The monarchs, who said the move was aimed at depriving them of their land, alleged that the architects of the move employed outright falsehood and distortion of facts in evolving their demand.

According to them, part of the proposed 'Oil Rivers State' belong to them and not the people of Ibeno and Eastern Obolo who are making the demand.

The traditional rulers who said they would not be part of the proposed state, said "We are in danger of losing our land and wealth unless our protest is expeditiously and diligently attended to."

Ekweremadu who commended their peaceful approach to the issue, said state creation, this time, would not be done as was the case during the military era.

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