The Senator representing Ogun Central Federal Constituency, Senator Dapo Tejuoso, has said agitations for the Biafran nation lack the required significance because the South-East people are still represented in the National Assembly.
Senator Tejuoso, who expressed the view in a chat in Abuja, noted that those shouting were outside the system, adding that until the representatives of the people of South East in the National Assembly begin to talk about it, it would remain a non-issue and insignificant.
According to Tejuoso, the agitations would become a serious issue only when the people of the zone come up through their representatives in the National Assembly to say they want to form a new country as expected in a democratic setting.
â€œAs far as I am concerned, the South East is still represented in the senate; they have their own senators, they have their House of Representatives members, they have not come up through any of these process to say they want to form another country; those who are shouting are those outside the system. â€œSo, for me, it is the day, senators start talking about it, that House of Representatives members start talking about it, it is then that it will make serious importance, but we are running democracy. For instance, the day they said people should stay at home and they too stayed at home; their House of Representatives members did not stay at home and these are the people representing them.â€
wIt is only when they talk about it that we can say they are going through the right process,â€ he said.
Tejuoso, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, also explained why the South East development commission agency bill could not fly in the lower House, saying that once such request is granted to one zone other zones would demand for creation of their own Development Commission.
He argued that the North East development commission was born out of the quest to address the ravaged socio-economic situation of the zone by the unfortunate activities of the Boko Haram insurgency.
According to the lawmaker, there is no basis for the South East zone to begin to ask for a development commission when they are not in war zone, stressing that such request would trigger a plethora of demand for creation of various kinds of development commissions in every geo-political zone of the federation.
â€œYou see once that request is granted, others will come up with theirs, like southwest development commission agency; northwest will come up with their own, south-south will come up with their own. So everybody will start asking for commission. And meanwhile, what is the commission for, it is not to develop, has the ministers not be putting southeast in their budget for development.
â€œThe system is working, the issue of this northeast development commission was because of the Boko Haram issue which is peculiar that is why northeast came up, it is misnomer and the commission will not be forever. Once the repairs of damages is done, am sure they will revisit the northeast commission because every region must be at the same level, no region must be isolated from development, the northeast commission is under emergencyâ€ he added.
On the issue of restructuring, Tejuoso said â€œFor me, I believe what need to be done if we are going to remain as Nigerian is to allow merit to become more important than ethnic consideration for offices; we need our best in Nigeria to be in a position, not that people should be appointed to office because of where they come from; we will not reach our maximum potential if we donâ€™t use our bestâ€.