…Indigenes write Senate
Human Rights Writer Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called on the National Assembly to accede to the request of the indigenous peoples of Borno and create the Savannah State for them.
In a statement issued by HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group said they have studied the presentation made by the indigenous people of Borno to the National Assembly canvassing the creation of Savannah state and are convinced beyond the shadows of doubt that creating Savannah State will add greater economic boost to the National economy.
The civil rights campaigners said that the agriculturally rich areas will be suitable to attract direct foreign investors in the agro-allied sector and would inevitably make Nigeria self sufficient in food productions and exportation.
HURIWA stated also that Savannah state if created will inevitably become the hotbed of global tourism given the rich cultural and environmental resources available in the geographical areas identified.
They said the beautiful topography of the areas earmarked as parts of the proposed Savannah State will transform the State into one of the best tourism potentials in Africa which will yield the much-needed financial bailout for our National economy.
HURIWA said the request for Savannah State is not frivolous going by the abundance of empirical data to suggest that Nigeria as a nation would be made richer economically if Savannah State is carved out of the huge geographical space known as Borno which is as big as France and Italy put together.
The Rights group said State creation will bring about infrastructural revolutions just as millions of job opportunities would be created. HURIWA also supports the call for creation of additional two States in the South East of Nigeria.
In a related development, some indigenes of the area have written to the Senate Committee on Constitutional Review making compelling case for creation of Savannah state out of present Borno state.
In the letter signed by Ambassador Dauda Danladi and Dr. Bitrus Pogu, they said the proposed state will cover nine local governments in Borno State.
The local government areas which have a population of about two million people are: Askira-Uba; Bayo; Biu; Chibok and Damboa.
Others are Gwoza, Hawul, Kwaya-Kusar and Shani Local Government Area.
Part of their letter and prayer to the Senate Committee read: “We the people of Askira/Uba, Bayo, Biu, Chibok, Damboa, Gwoza, Hawul, Kwaya-Kusar and Shani local Government Areas of Borno State, wish to present our request for the creation of Savannah State out of the present Borno State, with a long history of request, which we will recap as follows:
“We had before now presented requests for the creation of this proposed State at various times in recent years. Between 1982, 1983 and 1996, a request was made by the people of these Local Government Areas of the former Borno State for the Creation of Savannah State to the National Assembly of the Second Republic.
“During the agitation across the country in 1991 for the creation of more States, requests were made for the creation of two States out of the former Borno State, namely; Savannah and Yobe States. The request for the creation of Yobe State was granted, but Savannah was not.
“We had also earlier submitted this request to the National Constitutional Conference through its Committee on the States Creation. The move to kick start the process of reviewing the 1999 constitution then, which could accommodate states and local governments creation along with necessary boundary adjustments was indeed a welcome development and we enthusiastically participated.
“In 2014, we equally submitted our request to the National Conference Committee on states creation. That effort resulted in the shortlisting of Savannah State as one of the fourteen (14) states recommended for creation in Nigeria. The 2014 Conference report has again clearly shown that Savannah state met all necessary criteria for creation of state in Nigeria.
“To us this present move by your humble and esteem selves to Kick-start the process of review of the 1999 Constitution which could accommodate States and Local Government Creation and necessary boundary adjustments, is indeed a welcome stride and we pray that our submission will again receive the blessing of the National Assembly. It is in this regard that we wish to respectfully submit our memorandum for the creation of Savannah State with its proposed capital at Damboa.
“Pursuant to and in fulfillment of the provisions of section 8(1)(a) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all the democratically elected members at the National, State and local Government levels representing the area demanding for the creation of Savannah State, have after consideration of the long time yearnings and aspirations of the people of the proposed state, endorsed this noble request for the creation of Savannah State.
“Given the opportunities provided by the State creation to bring Government closer to the people and to foster even and rapid development, the people of the proposed Savannah State who are eager to bring about balanced and accelerated development are making this passionate appeal for your kind consideration of our request for the creation of Savannah State.”
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