Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Creation of Oil Rivers State: Clarification to the 2014 National Conference report

On March 19, 2015, the Punch Newspaper published an article on its page two under the caption, “FEC Approves National Confab Report,” and listed the states expected to be created as including the OIL RIVERS STATE from Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.

To clarify this issue and put the matter to rest once and for all, I hereby wish to unequivocally state as follows:

THAT at no point throughout the duration of the 2014 National Conference did the issue of state creation in Akwa Ibom Statec0ome up either in the plenary session or at the committee level as there was no demand by delegates or people from the state for another state to be created in Akwa Ibom.
THAT page 199, paragraph 4, of the main Report of the Conference which deals with State Creation is very clear and unambiguous on the issue. It provides that, Eighteen(18) more state be created as follows: Apa State from the present Benue State; Edu State from Niger State, Kainji State from the present Kebbi State; Katagun State from the present Bauchi State, Savanah State from the present Borno State, Amana State from the present Adamawa State, Gurara State from the present Kaduna State; Ghari State from the present Kano State; Etiti from the present South East zone; Aba State from the present Abia State; Adada State from the present Enugu State; Njaba-Anim State from the present Anambra and Imo states; Anioma State from the present Delta state; Ogoja State from the present Cross River State; Ijebu State from the present Ogun State, New Oyo State from the present Oyo State. 

THAT the third state to be created in the south-South zone will be named later, along with its state capital;
THAT the third state to be created in the South-West zone will be named later, along with its state capital;

THAT at a meeting of the South-South delegates to the Conference, it was agreed that Anioma be created from Delta State; Ogoja State be created from Cross Rivers State and the Oil Rivers State from Rivers State;
THAT on page 210 of its Report, the Conference had set out the Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State as follows: Abak, Eastern Obolo, Eket, Esit Eket, Essien Udim, Etim Ekpo, Etinan, Ibeno, Ibesikpo Asutan, ibiono Ibom, Ika, Ikono, Ikot abasi, Ikot Ekpene, Ini, Itu, Mbo, Mkpat enin, Nsit Atai, Nsit Ibom, Nsit Ubium, Obot Akara, Okobo, Onna, Oron, Oruk Anam, Udung Uko, Ukanafun, Uruan, Urue-Offong/Oruko and Uyo;

THAT on page 214 of the Report, the Conference listed the names of Local Government Areas for the proposed Oil Rivers State to include Abua/Odual, Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Akuku Toro, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny, Degema, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and Opobo/Nkoro all existing local government areas in the present Rivers State;

THAT Chapter 6 of the Report sets out the “Constitutional, Legal and Policy Modalities for the Implementation of the Resolutions of the National Conference; 

THAT on Page 558, mention is first made about the creation of the proposed Oil Rivers state from Akwa Ibom and Rivers State;
THAT at no time was such a matter discussed either at the plenary of committee level of the Conference and therefore, was surreptitiously included for implementation;

THAT having taken notice of the illegal inclusion, we had raised concern and called for the item to be expunged and thereby petitioned the leadership of the Conference;

THAT Conference leadership agreed that at no time was a decision taken that Oil Rivers State be created from any part of Akwa Ibom State;
THAT Akwa Ibom delegation to the Conference had raised the issue at its meeting at the home of the leader of the South-South, Chief Edwin Clark and it was agreed that a statement be issued disclaiming the purported inclusion of Akwa Ibom in the proposed Oil Rivers State;
THAT the South-South leaders, including Chief Clark and Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga signed a petition addressed to the Conference leadership, disclaiming the purported inclusion of Akwa Ibom State in the proposed Oil Rivers State; 

Those engaged in the wicked plot to cause disaffection and bad blood among the peace-loving people of the Niger Delta region should, therefore, beware.
We, hereby request the Presidency to issue a statement correcting this false impression before March 28 in order to allay the fears of Akwa Ibom people.

Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien
Akwa Ibom Delegate to the 2014 National Conference

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