By Segun Awofadeji
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Thursday said it could be a fatal mistake on the part of the National Assembly to at the end, its current review of the 1999 Constitution creates additional states for the country.
The Forum’s Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, said the creation of additional or more states in Nigeria was not the priority of only the forum but indeed majority of Nigerians.
“As the Chairman of the council of Arewa Consultative Forum, I have taken a stand which we at the ACF think that for now creation of states is not our priority in this country,” he said.
Mohammed, also the Dan-Iyan Misau, at the 35 anniversary celebration of the Bauchi Radio Corporation (BRC), said what ACF stands for should not be misconstrued to mean that it was against the creation of additional states in the country.
According to him, rather than embarking on such worthless venture, our leaders, workers, industrialists women, youth and indeed entire Nigerians must use every opportunity and action either collectively or individually to create jobs for the teeming unemployed and eschew corruption in our body politics.
The ACF chairman, who observed that Nigeria has so many problems to contend with, said: “One big mistake the National Assembly could make at the end of its on-going review of the 1999 Constitution is to try and create more states for Nigeria.”
He said the ACF was not saying the people of Katagum or Idoma people do not deserve a state, as looking into such demands perhaps with the exception of Bayelsa and Yobe States, there are agitations from all the other states in the federation.
Mohammed recalled that ACF was the first organisation or body to agitate for the creation of additional states in the country, even before the South-east or any movement from Southern Nigeria.
He said one does not need to be an accountant to know that additional states may translate into bigger bureaucracy and unsustainable overhead expenditures without corresponding initiatives to development and good governance.
“Development and good governance are the priorities that we at the Arewa Consultative Forum and indeed majority of Nigerians want our governments to continue,” Mohammed said.
He also stressed the need for leaders and indeed entire Nigerians to think of priorities that would provide a road map for Nigerian development, peace, unity, and good governance; hence the position of the ACF with regard to states creation should not be misconstrued by some quarters in the country.
“No one has any doubt about what the people want, there are good actions and there are undesirable ones, but we feel that there is time for everything and the time is simply not to take such actions that will end up the little resources we have for the over heads and difficult to develop,” he concluded.