Monday, December 10, 2012

MEMORANDUM FOR THE CREATION OF OKURA STATE WITH HEADQUARTERS AT ANYIGBA


Map of IGALA LAND

In this Memorandum, the peoples of Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Omala, Olamaboro, Ofu, Igalamela/Odolu, Ibaji and Idah local government areas of Kogi State, with a population of one million and five hundred thousand have requested that the area (Kogi East Senatorial District be carved out and be constituted into a state of their own, known as Okura State with headquarters at Anyigba.
This Memorandum has been signed by all the national, state assembly members and councilors from the area requesting the creation of the proposed Okura stae with the Capital at Anyigba in compliance with section 8 (i) (ii) (iii) of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

PREAMBLE:
The National Movement for the Creation of Okura State acting for and on behalf of our people and having, obtained their mandates do hereby humbly request for the creation of Okura State out of the present Kogi State with the Capital at Anyigba.  The issue of state creation is a nagging problem in the body polity of this country.  Since 1967 when General Gowon first split the county into States, many Nigerians have viewed the issue of State creation as the only way of reducing political marginalization of one ethnic group by another.  Our people rightly see State creation as a veritable means of bringing the government nearer to the people and of ensuring equitable distribution of natural resources and accelerating the pace of socio-economic development of the country.

Also, since the first attempt at States creation, successive Military Governments have attempted to redress the anomalies and inequalities in State creation, but unfortunately the fair play and equity sought has not been achieved.




2.0 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
2.1 PRE-COLONIAL ERA
Several Centuries before the coming of the British Colonial rulers to Nigeria, the Igala Kingdom was a well established Institution under its paramount ruler, the Attah (Father).

The 18th Attah, HRM, Aku Odiba reigned from 1854 to 1870.  The present Attah, His Royal Majesty Alhaji Aliyu Obaje is the 27th Attah.  The Kingdom extended South-ward to Nsukka and Onitsha, West-ward to Auchi, North-wards to Lokoja and a larger area of the present niger State and East-wards to Otukpo and Igumale areas.  Igala kingdom was one of the recognized kingdoms that existed before before the colonization of Nigeria by the British Empire.

2.2 COLONIAL ERA
The Royal Niger Company, which handed power to the British Government on 1st January, 1900 divided the Igala kingdom into three different provinces.  Idah area which presently consists of Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ofu, and Ibaji Local Government areas was put under Onitsha province, in the Southern protectorate; Ankpa area which presently consists, Ankpa, Olamaboro and Omala Local Government Areas was put under the control of Munchi province; while Dekina area currently comprising Dekina and Bassa Local Government Areas went under the control of Bassa province, both in the Northern Protectorate.

2.3 IGALA NATIVE AUTHORITY
Igala Native Authority was created along with other native Authorities in the Northern part of the country, to implement the indirect rule system of the British colonialists in Northern Nigeria, between 1946 and 1954, Igala Native Authority had become the second richest native Authority in the whole Northern Nigeria; Kano Native Authority was the first.
It is of interest to note that the Igala Native Authority (NA) in the then Kabba province had twenty districts, and indeed because of the effectiveness of the Igala Native Authority administration, whose finances were used to assist other less endowed Native Authorities in the defunct Northern Nigeria, the Igala province was contemplated in 1964 by the Northern regional Government to become the 14th province in the Northern region of Nigeria before the Military coup of 1966 scuttled the process.
2.4 IGALA/BASSA IN KWARA STATE
The Military exercise which created the 12 States in 1967 without consultation and consideration placed the Igala/Bassa area presently in Kogi East Senatorial District, in Kwara State with headquarters in Ilorin.  With River Niger and River Benue separating the Igala/Bassa land from the mainland of Kwara State, the Igala/Bassa were only mere appendages but appeared as tenants, hence the denigration of our people as “Kwara Overseas.”

2.5 IGALA/BASSA IN BENUE STATE 1976-1991
Once again, and in response to the dictates of circumstances, we sought for a new opportunity and identity for our people which will ensure continuity and homogeneity to Benue State in 1976.  The essence of this was to guarantee better social interaction and development of the State as one entity.  The Igala/Bassa were in Kwara op to 1976 when they were excised and merged with the Tiv and Idoma to form Benue State.  Benue was uncomfortable for our people because the long administration and social affinity between Idoma and Tiv who had been in Benue province together; saw the Igala and Bassa as strange bed fellows.  Through out the period between 1976 and 1991, when Igala and Bassa were in Benue State, they continued to be reminded that they were not part of the deal that led to the creation of Benue State in the first place.  They were in that state of mind until the creation of Kogi state in 1991 by the Babangida led military administration.

2.5 IGALA/BASSA IN KOGI STATE 1991 TO DATE
With the creation of Kogi State, Igala/Bassa moved to Lokoja to meet the Okuns, Ebiras and other ethnic groups with whom they were together in the former Kabba province.  Instead of returning to join former allies in an atmosphere of peace, candour and celebrity, the military brass who spearheaded the creation of Kogi State, created discord and disharmony by favouring the part of Kogi from Kwara in all political spheres.
The consequence is that we have remained up to the present day one of the most rural and underdeveloped areas of this great nation despite our vast human, natural and mineral resources.  Under such a situation it could not be blamed upon our people and other minority groups, for vigorously supporting the creation of more states in Nigeria in order to preserve her unity and promote her fast economic development.
The consequence is that we have remained up to the present day one of the most rural and underdevelopment areas of this great nation despite our vast human, natural and mineral resources.  Under such a situation it could not be blamed upon our people and other minority groups, for vigorously supporting the creation of more states in Nigeria in  order to preserve her unity and promote her fast economic development.

2.6 AGITATION FOR THE CREATION OF OKURA STATE SINCE 1981
During the vigorous agitation for States creation in the 2nd Republlic between 1981-1983, Igala/Bassa people participated like other major ethnic nationalities and submitted a request for the creation of Okura State in May, 1981 to the national Assembly (See Annexure 12).  Requests for the creation of Okura State and were submitted to Justices Irekefe and Loius Abanefor panels on states creation, 1986 and 1995; to the National Constitutional Conference, 1995/96; (See Annexure 16) to the last abortive, National Assembly Constitutional Review Committee and the entire National Assembly in 2006.
It is pertinent to draw the attention of this august committee to the earlier resolution pertaining the request for the creation of Okura state that, that was submitted to the defunct 2nd Republic, National Assembly in May, 1981 b the movement for the creation of Okura State on behalf of Igala/Bassa people in the present Kogi East Senatorial District of Kogi State.

Consequent upon the deliberations of the request submitted to both the Senate and the House of Representatives and subsequent visit by the members of the House of Representatives Committee on the creation of the proposed Okura State to Anyigba to verify the signatories to the request Memorandum for the proposed Okura State, sometime in 1982, the Senate on Thursday 16th June, 1983 concluded proceedings and passed a resolution recommending then proposed Okura State for referendum, having complied with section 8 (i) (ii) (iii) of the 1979 constitution.  (Refer to) National Assembly debates, First Assembly, 4th session Senate official report, vol.3 No. 24 of Thursdau 16th June, 1983. (pg. 11739-11754) Annexure 13).
Likewise, the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, 18th January, 1983 concluded proceedings on the request for the Creation of Okura State and also resolved that Okura state having satisfied the provisions of the section 8 (i) (ii) (iii) of the Nigerian Constitution of 1979 be recommended for referendum along with those already recommended.  Ref 10) National Assembly, Fourth session, No 33, pg.89 (Annexure 15).
Since it is customary for the National Assembly to respect the decisions their predecessors, we expect that the committee will do justice to the request for the same Okura State which already scaled through both Hose of the National Assembly in the past as it does not require much effort than verification of signatories for its recommendation for referendum.

3.0 OUR REQUEST
Our memorandum is on the request for the creation of OKURA STATE from the present Kogi State with the Capital at ANYIGBA.

3.1 LOCATION, LAND MASS AND POPULATION
The proposed Okura State lies to the east of Kogi State across rivers Niger and Benue, North Central Nigeria and is inhabited mainly by Igala with other ethnic groups constituting about 15% of the total population.  Some of these ethnic groups are Bassa Komos, Bassa-Nges, the Idomas, the Kakandas, the Egbira Mozum, Hausa, Fulani, Ibo and Yoruba.

The proposed Okura state is bounded on the north by the river Benue, on the South by Enugu and Anambra States, to the East by Benue State and to the South-West by River Niger.  The proposed State covers an area on 12,753.92km (Annexure iii).  It has population of approximately One Million, Five hundred thousand (1.5M) people based on the 2006 population census figures.
The proposed Okura State should be made up of the following 31 Local Government Areas with their headquarters as outlined in the table below.
3.2 PROPOSED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS (LGAs), STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SENATORIAL DISTRICTS AND ELECTORAL WARDS.

The proposed Okura state comprises nine (9) existing Local Government Areas in the present Kogi State having sixty (60) districts, Ninety seven (97) electoral wards, One Senatorial District, Three (3)  Federal Constituencies and Eleven state constituencies.

3.3 PROPOSED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS AND HEADQUARTER

S/NO Name of LGA Headquarter
1 Idah Idah
2 Ibaji Onyedega
3 Odolu Odolu
4 Igalamela Ajaka
5 Ugwolawo Ugwolawo
6 Igalogwa Aloma
7 Itobe Itobe
8 Ankpa Ankpa
9 Omala Abejukolo
10 Enjema Ofugo
11 Ojoku Okaba
12 Olamaboro Okpo
13 Imane Imane
14 Ogugu Ogugu
15 Dekina Dekina
16 Okura Egume
17 Agala Anyigba
18 Biraidu Abocho
19 Bassa Oguma
20 Gboloko Gboloko
21 Mozum Mozum
22 Ogodu Ogodu
23 Adanawo Emanyi
24 Ibaji 2 Ejule
25 Emekutu Ikebe
26 Iyale/Oganenigu Iyale
27 Akpanya/Avrugo Akpanya
28 Udaba Omala Obagaji
29 Oladihi Ibado Akpacha
30 Ogbabede Ajogwoni
31 Udane Ogbonicha
32 Bassa East Kpanche
33 Bassa Central Akakana



          
  3.4 PROPOSED STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY CONSTUTUENCIES AND HEADQUARTERS.

S/NO Name of LGA Headquarters
1. Idah Idah
2. Ibaji Onyedega
3. Odolu Odolu
4. Igalamela Ajaka
5. Ugwolawo Ugwolawo
6. Igalogwa Aloma
7. Itobe Itobe
8. Ankpa Ankpa
9. Omala Abejukolo
10 Enjema Ofugo
11. Ojoku Okaba
12. Olamaboro Okpo
13. Imane Imane
14. Ogugu Ogugu
15. Dekina Dekina
16. Okura Egume
17. Biraidu Abocho
18. Bassa Oguma
19. Gboloko Gboloko
20. Mozum Mozum
21. Ogodu Ogodu
22. Adanawo Emanyi
23. Ibaji 2 Ejule
24. Emekutu Ikebe
25. Iyale/Oganenigu Iyale
26. Akpanya/Avrugo Akpanya
27. Udaba Omala Obagaji
28. Oladihi Ibado Akpacha
29. Ogbabede Ajogwoni
30. Agala Anyigba
31. Inachalo Ega





3.7 PROPOSED ELECTORAL WARDS
A minimum of ten (10) wards are proposed for each Local Government Area in the proposed Okura State.  A total of three hundred and ten wards have been proposed for the proposed Okura State.

4.0 VIABILITY FACTORS
The proposed Okura State is endowed with rich and abundant human and natural resources as a key factor in any development is paramount and thus is the greatest asset of the proposed Okura State.

4.1 GEOGRAPHICAL FACTORS
Geographically, the area enjoys contiguous landscape and topography.  The entire area of the proposed State is watered by two great rivers, Niger and Benue.  These two rivers are important means of transportation and fishing industry for the people.
The creation of an Okura State in this area will enable the indigenes to address their problem of underdevelopment and poverty that is very prevalent.

4.2 AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES
The proposed Okura State could be termed as the food belt of Nigeria as the abundant agricultural resources can transform the state’s fortune if well harnessed.  The proposed state is blessed with abundant fertile soil that make it primarily agricultural as evident in the location of the former World Bank supported Agricultural Development Project in the area.  Below is the list of some of the agricultural produce in the proposed Okura State;

1.     Rice Bassa, Ibaji, Ife
2.     Yams All over the State
3.     Cassava All over the State
4.     Maize All over the State
5.     Palm produce All over the State
6.       Forestry All over the State
7.       Tomatoes Ankpa
8.        Fruits All over the State
9.        Fishing Bassa, Idah, Ibaji
10.                 Poultry All over the State
11.                 Livestock All over the State

4.3 MINERAL RESOURCES
One of the most frequently used argument to demand for States is economic viability, or self sustenance.  If possession of mineral resources is a measure of economic strength, Okura State is well endowed.  Some of the mineral resources of the proposed Okura State that are capable of strengthening its economic base are shown below:-
1.    Coal Ankpa and Dekina
2.    Clay Idah, Bassa and Ankpa
3.    Iron Ore Bassa and Dekina
4.    Petroleum/Natural Gas Idah, Ankpa, Olamaboro, Omala and Bassa
5.    Salt Bassa
6.    Lime Ofu
7.    Marble Idah, Ofu, Bassa
8.    Tin Bassa, Dekina, Ofu
9.    Limestone Ofu
10.                  Gypsum Ofu, Bassa, Ankpa
11.                  Uranium Idah

4.4 TOURISM POTENTIAL
Igala/Bassa land is a potential tourism destination.  The people are warm and hospitable.  The weather is Clementine; the land is green with grassland and forest.  The topography is undulating as well as flat.  The rivers all all season and fresh.  There is temperate plateau at Ogeneja for development into ranch and tourist centre.  There are also many cultural monuments and cultural festivals to attract tourists (national and international) in fact, tourism is a golden mine waiting to be tapped in the proposed Okura State because as part of proposed Confluence Tourism Development Project.

4.5 PROPOSED CAPITAL AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The proposed capital city of Okura State is Anyigba.  Anyigba is an old settlement situated in the centre of the proposed Okura State.  It is almost equidistant from all the boundaries of the proposed Okura state, Anyigba has since assumed the zoned headquarters for the Igala/Bassa because it was chosen as the permanent venue for ITALO, the Annual Igala Cultural Festival (Now tagged Igala National Day) by one erstwhile Attah Igala, HRM Obaje Ocheje.  Anyigba can best be described as the Igala Unity Centre, which is inscribed at its roundabout, connecting the major highways to various places in Nigeria.
Anyigba is Kogi East Senatorial District Headquarters, Zonal Headquarter of Kogi State ADP; the Campus of Kogi State University, Anyigba is currently enjoying electricity supply from the Ajaokuta Power Project and a giant 330KVA Power Station is under contruction by PHCN, and many other facilities such as banks, primary and post primary schools are situated  in Anyigba.  The Kogi State Government is currently opening up roads in the town.  It is a principal commercial centre in Igala land.  There is Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) station in Anyigba and a Referral Hospital.

4.6 IMPORTANT TOWNS
Other important towns with suitable infrastructure to support the administrative network/structures in the proposed Okura State include, the Ancient Idah City where the palace of the Paramount Ruler, the Attah Igala is situated, a Federal Polytechnic is also sited there.
Ankpa city is the commercial hub of Igala/Bassa land, and is the Ankpa Local Government Headquarters; the Kogi State College of Education is sited there.
Dekina is an old city that has served as the premier centre of learning in Igala/Bassa land.  All the existing Local Government and districts headquarters have permanent infrastructure that can be used for the take-off of the new state and Local Government.

5.0 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REQUEST FOR THE CREATION OF OKURA STATE.

5.1   RETROGRESSION
As a result of deliberate distortions and political manipulation, the Igala which forms 54% of Kogi State has been reduced to 44.27%, and there was drastic reduction in the number of representatives of our people.  Starting from the regime of Gen. Babangida in 1985.  The Igala/Bassa people continued to witness a remarkable decline or reduced national status in all ramifications.
Politically, Igala/Bassa areas usually were allotted one ministerial position in the federal cabinet right from the First Republic.  We also produced top administrators, technocrats, parliamentary aids, ambassadors as our legitimate quota based on our population and land mass.  This our natural  vantage position has been turned to a curse as we have been turned to mere human elements used to balance political vacuum during reshuffling of states in this country.
Igala/Bassa has been winning the Governorship election in Kogi State, not as a bitter, while they holds way at the Federal level because of the number of their representatives in the National Assembly and in the executive arm.  The only permanent solution to this dilemma is the granting of our request for the creation of Okura State, as no principle and practice of rotational system can serve as alternative because of the multi-party system in Nigeria.

5.2 POLITICAL MARGINALIZATION
 The people of Kogi East Senatorial District (Igala/Bassa) have been marginalized in the scheme of things in Nigeria for a long time from colonial era because they are law abiding and accommodating.
It is one of the areas that have a reduced national status despite her population and land mass which is more than seven of the existing state in Nigeria today.

5.3 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
Some of the largest LGAs in Nigeria are found in Igala area.  When Igaland was in Kwara State, in 1969, the then Kwara State Government created six (6) Local Government Authorities or Divisions for the Four (4) major geo-ethnic units in the defunct Kabba province.  This were as follows:-

TABLE 1:  LOCAL GOVERNMENT DIVISIONS IN KABBA PROVINCE, 1969
A.    East of the Niger.

Main Ethnic Group
Local Govt. Areas
Population
Land Area
Sq.Km.
IGALA
1.     Ankpa Division
2.    Dekina Division
3.    Idah Division
3LGAs
264,987
188,703
231,300
684,880 (54%)
3,507
4,506
5,002
13,015

B.    West of the Niger
IGBIRRA
1.     Igbirra Division
325,275
3,279
KABBA (OKUN)
1.    Kabba Division
180,037
7,270
LOKOJA/KOTON KARFE
1.    Kogi Division
89,953
4,480
Total
      3 LGAs
595,260 (46%)
15,027

SOURCE:  Kwara Statistical Digest (1974-1975, 9P 7 & 16).
Above shows that the western part now of Kogi State, made up of Igbirra, Okun, Yoruba and Lokoja/Koton Karfe areas put together, had the same number of Local Government Areas as Igalaland as at 1969.

The distribution of LGAs in 1991 at the creation of Kogi State even gave a numerical advantage of the Eastern flank, (i.e the Igala/Bassa) as follows:-

TABLE 2: LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS AT THE CREATION OF KOGI STATE, 1991
MAIN ETHNIC GROUPS
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
Igala (6)
Ankpa, Olamaboro, Deina, Bassa, Ofu and Idah.
Igbira (2)
Okene & Okehi
Kabba (2)
Kabba & Yagba
Kogi (1)
Koghi

Above also clearly shows that Kogi East made up mainly of Igala and Bassan people had a total of 6 LGAs while Kogi West made up mainly of the Igbirra, Okun (Yoruba) and Lokoja/Koton Karfe have five (5) LGAs at  the creation of Kogi State in 1991.  But as at today, Kogi East has a total of Nine (9) LGAs and Kogi West has twelve (12) LGAs.  This present situation in which Kogi East that came to form Kogi State with more LGAs is superseded by Kogi West has been a source of frustration and grievances for our people, moreso it was calculated to disrupt the corporate entity of the state and to care our people.

TABLE 3:  LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS AS AT TODAY IN KOGI STATE
MAIN ETHNIC GROUPS
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS AS AT TODAY
POPULATION
(2006 CENSUS)
Igala/Bassa (9)
Ankpa, Olamaboro, Dekina, Bassa, Ofu & Idah, Ibaji, Igalamel/Odolu, Omala
1,484,345
Igbirra (5)
Okene, Okehi, Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Mangogo.
884,396
Kabba (5)
Kabba, Yagba East, Yagba West, Ijumu, Mopar/Moro.
588,585
Kogi (2)

311161

5.4 CENSUS FIGURES ALTERATION
Originally, the population of Kogi East was 54%, it has now been fraudulently cut down to 44.27%.  This is most unsatisfactorily and does not augur well for peaceful co-existence of the people in Kogi State.
Grand selfish interest was perpetrated in the 11991census, which was largely discredited nationwide and even rejected by the 1999 Constituent Assembly due to the shameless manipulation.  The current 2006 Census figures showed that Igbirra population between 1963-2006 grew by an average of 550% while Igala population grew by only 42% within the same period.  Even with that incredible falsification, the population figures for Kogi State as reflected for both sides of the Niger in the 2006 census were:  Kogi East (Igala/Bassa) is 1,484,345 and Kogi West (Igbirra, Okun, Koton Karfe) is 1,794,142.

5.5 SENATORIAL DISTRICT
Since coming to Kogi State in 1991 august, Igala/Bassa people have been retrogressively down graded.  When we were in Benue State, we had one full senatorial districts and one of our axis i.e Ankpa Axis teamed up with the whole of Idoma land (Idoma and Oju Local Governments) and Kwer Local Government in TV land to share a senatorial district.  In Kogi State today, inspite of parity in population and land area, Kogi East has only one (1) Senatorial District.  Thhis is also a case of retrogressive growth with grievous consequences.

5.6 FEDERAL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
In the same way as Igala/Bassa suffered a loss in the Upper House on leaving Benue for Kogi, so we did in the Lower House.  In the 1st Republic Igala/Bassa representation in the House of Representatives was through five (5) constituencies of Idah North, Idah South, Ankpa North, Ankpa South and Dekina Bassa representative were Dr. Yahaya Atanu, Hon. Stephen Idakwo, Late Dr. Abube Usman, Hon. Abubakar Abutu and Hon. Joel Abu.
In Kogi State today, there are Nine (9) Federal Legislative Constituencies out which Kogi East with about 50% of the population and about 50% of its land mass has 3 i.e just one third (1/3) of the constituencies.  This is not only unfair but incongruous but retrogressive and degrading of humanity.

5.7 STATE CONSTITUENCIES
 Kogi East, while in Benue State had fifteen (15) State constituencies, this has reduced to eleven (11) but Kogi West that had fewer constituencies while in Kwara State now has fourteen (14) constituencies in Kogi State.  The resultant effect is more constituencies were created in Kogi West and in Kogi East  constituencies were merged.  The negative impact of this dwindling political fort of the people of Igala/Bassa land can only be most lamentable and regrettable.

5.8 ELECTORAL WARDS
Kogi East presently has 97 electoral wards which is just 40% of the total of electoral wards in Kogi State.  The remaining 142 wards 60%  were allotted to Kogi West during the distortion of the Local Government structure of the State.  Ag Kogi East was short charged.

5.9 PRECEDENCE
Furthermore, the old provinces in Nigeria have all been split into two or more state e.g Plateau province, Kano province, etc.  it is therefore not out or place of Kabba province is constituted into two states.
In the entire former Northern region, the Igala Native Authority (NA) was second richest native authority coming only after Kano Native Authority, therefore believed that eh economic viability of the proposed Okura State constituted the former Igala Native Authority is not in doubt.

5.10  SUSTAINABILITY AND CORPORATE EXISTENCE
To debunk the argument on the reciprocal viability, we wish to say that the demand for the proposed Okura State is made in the belief that all the parties concerned would allow the spirit of give and take for the sustenance and corporate existence each state.


5.11 ECONOMIC VIABILITY
Our partners on the Western part of the River Niger are blessed with many important Federal Government development projects such as the multi-billion Naira Iron and Steel Complex at Ajaokuta; Itakpe Iron Ore Minning and Dangote Cement Factory at Obajana, Okura State likewise is equally rich in both mineral and agricultural resources to be harnessed.

5.12 ABUNDANT NATURAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES
In addition, some states as presently constituted could not be more viable in terms of human and natural resources when compared with the proposed Okura State and the remaining Kogi State.


5.13 CORRECTION OF THE INHERENT IMBALANCE AND DISTORTIONS
One of the major problems confronting the present democratic government n Nigeria is the cry of marginalization, not only from the disadvantaged Igala/Bassa people, but also from other minorities whose interests have been completely ignored by the past Military regimes distortion of Nigeria Geo-political structure because of primordial selfish interest of some of their officers.  The lopsided creation of local government areas and constituencies in Kogi State constituted a threat to peace, democracy and good governance especially, when the populations concerned compete for resources which are allocated on the basis of LGAs and constituencies.  The disadvantaged parts risked remaining in perpetual underdevelopment if permanent remedial action is not taken.
To diffuse the intractable ethnic tensions, this dynamic committee must look for a fair arrangement, using a democratic approach that will guarantee peaceful co-existence between the various peoples of the country.  It is therefore important to create states that take into account geo-ethnic balancing of the major segments of Nigeria; so as to maintain equilibrium and avoid distortions brought about by parochially minded ethnic champions who ignored their responsibility to the entire nation in favour of their ethnic groups.

6.0 PRAYERS
We the Igala/Bassa people are aware of our background and enviable position with which we are endowed, giving our numerical strength and land mass coupled with our resourcefulness and humbleness that emanated from our cherished socio-cultural, traditional heritage and agreed to be moved around like “Nomadic Political Robots” from Kaduna to Ilorin to Makurdi to Lokoja.  We have also been marginalized in many vital issues affecting our well being.
It is in the quest to ensure, justice, equity, fair play and a sense of belonging that Igala/Bassa people are demanding for the creation of Okura State as well as to enable them contribute positively to the political and socio-economic development of our dear country, Nigeria.
We the Igala/Bassa people, all along merited to have a state that we call our own to enable us have full representations at all levels of government in Nigeria.  Of course our population and land mass are our natural endowments.  Yet we have put up within much difficulties and deprivations.  We humbly make this appeal to the august Committee and indeed the National Assembly, to take bold steps in wiping our tears in correcting past ill treatments of our people in this modern times, by granting our request for the creation of Okura State with the Capital at Anyigba.
We have no iota of doubt that the National Assembly, sustaining the transparent path you are already tredding, will ensure justice will be done to us.
May god Almighty, grant you “King Solomon’s Wisdom” to enable you succeed in this task.

MOSES EGENE ADAH                                    
Alidu Jibrin

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