By Tony Edike Enugu
THE demand for the creation of an additional state in the South East geopolitical zone dominated presentations before the public hearing on the review of constitution in the zone but with some disagreements on the composition and location of the proposed state.
The lack of consensus on the location of the state, led to a rowdy session on the second day of the public hearing as placards-carrying youths besieged the Legislative Chamber of Enugu State House of Assembly venue of the event, shouting down those presenting their demands for a new state.
Unlike the first day (Thursday) when agitators for the creation of Adada State from the present Enugu State made their presentation without any dissent, those who spoke in favour of Equity, ANIM, Orashi and Orimili yesterday were booed by the youths who attended in their large numbers.
The pro-Adada youths were bent on not giving others the opportunity to make their own presentations before the review committee headed by Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who had to threaten to invite security operatives to remove them out of the chamber should they continue with their noise making.
When Navy Commodore Anthony Ogugua (rtd) from Mgbowo in Awgu local government area of Enugu State and one of the prime movers of Equity State was addressing the committee on the need to create Equity State with Awgu local government area as component part, the shout of “No! No!! No!!!” rented the air.
The youths who displayed placards some of which read “Awgu is not part of Equity State”, “Awgu will remain in Enugu State” and “The people of Awgu want Adada State” among others, booed Ogugua, who was former Military Governor of Imo State, saying his presentation was against the collective decision of Enugu people.
Chukwumerije had to warn the shouting youths severally for them to calm down since state creation was not the only issue before the committee and normalcy was later restored inside the chamber.
The committee Chairman assured the people of the South East that all their submissions would be looked into as part of the exercise which, he said was aimed at giving Nigeria an acceptable and workable constitution.
The issue of Local Government creation was also mentioned before the committee with Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Chief Chuma Nzeribe from Anambra State advising the people of the zone to place more emphasis on it as according to him the zone had been seriously cheated in terms of revenue allocation to councils because the zone had the least number of local governments.
They were of the opinion that with more local government areas created in the South East, there would be improvement in the development of infrastructure while more people would get employment as against the current situation where the people are lumped into only 95 councils, the least in the entire six zones.