By HENRY UMORU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA — Senate President, David Mark, yesterday, raised the hope of Nigerians agitating for creation of more states, saying the National Assembly would revisit the various requests to that effect.
This was even as the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution turned down various requests for creation of states in the on-going constitution review.
He asked agitators for state creation not to be disillusioned at the recent turn of events, saying “there is still a window to address the issue.”
He spoke when he met with a group of people from his constituency, under the aegis of Idoma National Forum, INF, who had come to express displeasure over failure of the National Assembly to grant request for creation of proposed Apa state out of Benue State.
Mark insisted that state creation was not yet laid to rest and explained that the draw back in the recommendation was that Chapter 8 of the 1999 Constitution made it cumbersome to actualize creation of state.
But he disclosed, however, that the system was being streamlined to enable agitators meet their targets.
Senator Mark said: “I have never minced words about my position for the creation of additional states. It is not that we cannot live together with our brothers and sisters but I am a firm believer that state creation will bring more development and progress nearer to the people.
“You should continue with the agitation for state creation and work towards meeting the requirements. I am sure that when the conditions are met, states would be created.
“Milk may have been spilled but not fallen over. There is still a window and the National Assembly will hearken to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.”
The Senate President told his people to continue to maintain peace and unity which, he noted, would engender the progress of a people.
He promised to continue to be good ambassador of not only Idoma nation but Benue State and Nigeria in general, saying his actions and deeds would be guided by the fear of God, fairness, objectivity and the rule of law.
President of Idoma National Forum, Dr. Okopi Alex Momoh, urged the National Assembly to review requests for the creation of states, pointing out that with over 61 requests to that effect, something must be wrong with the management of states in the country.
Momoh enjoined the National Assembly to investigate and verify claims for state creation to address the issue and feelings of most Nigerians.
He thanked the Senate President for providing quality leadership in the Senate, noting that he (Mark) was, indeed, a worthy representative of Idoma nation.
Momoh pledged that the forum would partner with the Senate President in the onerous task of developing the Idoma nation for the good of all.