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Tor Tiv opposes creation of more states

By Tordue Salem

MAKURDI – Chairman of Benue State Council of Traditional Rulers, the Tor Tiv Ochivirigh Akawe Torkula, has expressed his opposition to the clamour for creation of more states in the federation, saying the proposal for new states in the 1999 Constitution is unnecessary.

The traditional ruler in his new book entitled: “The Culture of Partisan Politics in Nigeria: An Historic Perspective,” took a swipe at the pressure groups seeking new states to be carved from the existing ones, describing their motives as self-serving and superfluous.

Said he: “The problems at the state levels are almost the same as at the federal. States in this country are often created for political aggrandisement or considerations. The economic viability of such states does not seem to constitute an important factor in state creation.

“Nigerians have consciously or otherwise welcomed the state creation and they continue to clamour for more, not necessarily because they want development, but rather, as an avenue for creating jobs for the indigenes of those states.

“Politicians who for one reason or the other cannot make it at the national level find refuge at this level. They become political leaders or heroes of such enclaves. It is believed that apart from the centre, states constitute also, political structures upon which both political and economic objectives are pursued,” he wrote.

The traditional leader, who is the 4th Tor Tiv, since the Tiv Traditional Council was founded by the British in 1947, also urged the Federal Government under President Umaru Yar’Adua to scrap the legislative contraption at the local tier of government, observing that its existence was a waste.

“The introduction of Presidential system at the local government level is too ambitious because it has not taken into account the level of political, economic and social background for the grassroots,” he said.


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