By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CALABAR—AS the National Assembly continues with the process of amending the 1999 Constitution, there was a strong presentation by the Itsekiri ethnic nationality of Delta State, yesterday, with a call for the creation of Warri State, just as the people stressed that it would put an end to the age-long marginalisation.
Presenting the position of the Itsekiri nation in a memorandum at the two-day zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution for the South-South geo-political zone in Calabar, Cross River State, the people also canvassed for the creation and recognition of Mid West Zone, to be carved out of the South-South Zone to comprise Edo and Delta States and Middle Belt Zone from North Central.
In the memorandum presented on behalf of the Itsekiri nation by Mr. Edward Ekpoko, Assistant Secretary of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, the people said it was their inalienable right to preserve and control their land, language and their traditions and to participate in the government of the country at all levels.
He said: “The area of the proposed state should be conterminous with the old Warri Division, Itsekiri homeland (now Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West Local Government Areas of Delta State).
“The Itsekiri produce over 30 per cent of the oil and gas that sustain Nigeria and sadly, they have no representative at the Senate of 109 members because of their minority position. It has only one member in the Federal House of Representatives of 360 seats and of the 29 members of the Delta State House of Assembly, it has only three.”