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Senator Ekweremadu advocates extra state for South East, calls for equity and fairness

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Former Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu has reiterated the need for an extra state to be created for the South East region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senator Ekweremadu stated this on Saturday at Open Square, a program aired on Channels Television.

“The South East deserves an extra state to match up with other regions in the country, especially in the areas of governance and distribution of resources.”

He decried the ratio of lawmakers from the region to those from other geopolitical zones; the disproportionate ratio he said was affecting the South East representation in the National Assembly.

“The number is lopsided because of the way the states were created,” the lawmaker said. “Right now, South East has just five states when others have seven and six. At the Senate, with three senators per state, the South East has just 15 senators, while other regions have 18 and 21”.

“When it comes to voting, even in terms of resources distribution, we are short-changed.”

“I believe that the fair thing to do is for the country to agree for us to have an extra state for the South East, so that it will enable us to match with the rest of the country in terms of opportunity at the National Assembly.”

To buttress his point, the former Deputy President of the Senate revealed that the South East region had the least number of states;

Ekweremadu also called for fairness and equity for the region in terms of developing its infrastructure just like other parts of the country.

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On infrastructural development, he advised that work should go on pari passu with other regions; no one region should be overlooked.

“Say you want to construct a rail line from Lagos to Kano which is of national interest anyway because that is a good corridor, but you are not seeing anything happening in the eastern corridor – between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri, there is a conflict.”

“Naturally, I will speak for my people and say if you are spending money for the western corridor, you should also spend for the eastern corridor; if you don’t have money for both of them, then you have to wait.

“We need equity, we need justice, we need fairness for you to have a country that you can say is democratic,” he added.

The Open Square program is a town hall meeting between lawmakers and their constituents.

The meeting is an avenue that engages the lawmakers and their constituents as well as law-making and meeting the peoples’ needs among others.

Senators who featured on the program included Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of Abia South Senatorial District; Senator Uche Ekwunife of Anambra Central District and Senator Ike Ekweremadu of Enugu West Senatorial district.

 

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