By John Ikani
Former Nigerian military Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has insisted that Nigeria does not need new states.
Speaking during an interview with newsmen at his Hilltop Mansion in Minna, Niger State, Babangida urged Nigerians to be proud of their state, work for them and ensure that they succeed no matter how things are.
According to him: “The answer is capital No. We cannot continue to agitate for states because we may end up having a house as a state if the quest does not stop.
“Where we are today as a country has given everyone some sense of belonging since each Nigerian belongs to a particular state he can call his or hers. It is also good that no matter how things are, each Nigerian should be proud of their state, work for them and ensure that they succeed.
“We created Akwa Ibom and Katsina in 1987 even though the agitation for Akwa Ibom State started as far back as 1938.
“When we came on board, there were records of agitations for new states and we took a critical look at them and we set parameters for them largely in terms of viability, history and so on and we decided that Akwa Ibom should be carved out of Cross River State”.
What you should know
Creation of new states tops the list of amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
Although less than five of the current 36 states are economically viable, there are agitations for the creation of at least 20 others.
Some of the requests include ITAI State (from Akwa Ibom State); State status for the FCT; Katagum State from Bauchi State; Okura State from Kogi East; Adada State from Enugu State; Gurara State from Kaduna South; and Ijebu State from Ogun State.
Others include Ibadan State from Oyo State; Tiga State from Kano State; Ghari State from Kano State; Amana State from Adamawa; Gongola State from Adamawa; Mambilla State from Taraba State; Savannah State from Borno State; Okun state from Kogi State; and Apa State from Benue State.
Also among the requests are Etiti State from the South East Zone; Orashi State from Imo and Anambra states; Njaba from the present Imo State or the excision of Aba State from Abia State; Anioma State from Delta State; Torogbene and Oil River States, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states; and Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara states.