Speaking at his weekly program, Ben Kalu’s Mandate, the member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rep. Benjamin Kalu has urged the constitution review committee to review the idea of a sixth state in the South East region of Nigeria, while encouraging all south eastern leaders of the region to rise to this call.
The lawmaker stated that this is a good opportunity for this discussion to be considered as it is only logical for the south eastern states to have same number of states as with every other regions in Nigeria adding that the region has the capacity to shoulder six states.
According to him;
‘We are being shortchanged in the South east in the sense that the geo-political zones in the country which has six states in each of the zones, It is only in the southeast that we have five states. As a member of the parliament, if I don’t address it now, I wonder when I will address it. My call to the constitution review committee is that they consider because it is from this process that states would be created. They should consider the possibility of increasing the number of states from five to six. I say so because it affects the distribution of democracy in a very significant way. Why should some regions get above the others? For instance, my constituency, Bende Federal Constituency should be four LGAs; Item LGA, Umuimenyi Nkpa LGA, Bende South LGA and Bende North LGA. To leave Bende as one LGA is a disservice to our development because it affects our shares of the dividends of democracy.
These are the reasons for some of these agitations, talking about equity and justice. It is time to balance the equation and I believe that the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will give that to the South East as a gift.
This is my way of raising a call through this program that South East cannot remain as five states, The South East is big enough to contain 6 states so that when we go for our federal allocation and other dividends of democracy we will not have less while others have more.
I am calling on all leaders in the south east irrespective of party affiliation to rise up and ask for six states in the South East so that the equation will be balanced. We are not representing our people well if we cannot push this request. Let us all join our voices to this, it is not about carrying placards, however following the legislative process. It is the right thing to do, and leaving the right thing undone when it ought to be done, is in itself an injustice.’
He added that this is the only way to build cohesion that will inspire patriotism, peace and quench all the current agitations in Nigeria.