The candidate of the United Progressives Party, UPP, in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, Osita Chidoka, has called for the creation of one more state in the South East.
This was part of a statement made available to newsmen by his campaign Director Media, Viola Ifeyinwa Okolie, where he also declared that there are no terrorists in the southeast.
According to him, people of the region do not feel terrorized.
Chidoka, a one time Minister of Aviation and two term Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, said the demand for sixth state in the southeast was significant because it is coming on the eve of the nation’s 57th Independence Day celebration.
Chidoka said he would lead a new engagement that would end what he described as “the marginalization and repression of Ndigbo.”
He added, “While we salute all those who, through one legitimate way or the other have pursued the struggle, we state today that we are stepping into a new frontier.
“The Igbo voice against marginalization and injustice will not be achieved on the streets.
“It will rather be won with a determined engagement of our institutions of government and with other Nigerians who feel aggrieved to redefine the meaning of Nigeria and remove the inequalities that have fanned the embers of discord, and restructure our nation along the lines of justice, equality and fairness.
“To this end, my election as governor of Anambra State, will start off with a single agenda; an agenda to secure a new state for the southeast region to bridge the disparity we face.
“We will immediately, upon inauguration, in line with Section. 8 (1) of the 1999 constitution get our National Assembly members from Anambra state, our elected House of Assembly members, and local government chairmen to sign a request to the National Assembly asking for a referendum for the sixth Southeast state.
“We will vigorously engage our friends from other states in the National Assembly and other states House of Assembly for a new state. Nigeria must take a decision on the issue of additional state for the southeast before the end of tenure of the 8th Assembly and the 2019 election.”
The governorship aspirant insisted that there were no terrorists in the southeast, adding that the nation should not regard the Igbo’s quest for self determination as terrorism.
“We cannot build a great nation without unity at home. We cannot be a nation where people are hated, branded and then hounded and ostracized.
“We stand here to declare that there are no terrorists in our state; there are no terrorists in our region and we do not feel terrorized as a people.
“Indeed, without further argument, we do not believe that those who are asking for a restructured Nigeria or even for dismemberment of Nigeria are terrorists.
“No! They are not.”