By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A movement for the emancipation of the old Midwest region has scheduled a summit in the Delta State capital, Asaba, to drum the need to restructure the federation and for a more equitable distribution of the country’s resources.
The summit, billed for December 12, 2018, according to its convener, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, would be used to task all the 2019 presidential aspirants their plans for the old Midwest region which currently comprises of Edo and Delta States. Obaseki said the people of the region have been so marginalised that they can no longer hold back while their resources are being frittered away.
“The summit is being put together to allow all those who aspire to rule Nigeria after 2019 to tell us what they intend to do about our marginalisation. We will do everything humanly possible to make sure that those who do not want to change are situation in Edo and Delta do not have our votes,” said Obaseki.
He traced the marginalisation of the region and its people to the incursion of the military into Nigerian politics, stressing that today while other regions of the country had been split into several states, the Midwest only boasts of two states.
“We want our people to know that as at 1966 January 15, when the military first intervened in politics in Nigeria, we were one over four. There were just four capitals in Nigeria: Kaduna for the northern region, Enugu for the eastern region, Benin City for the midwestern region and Ibadan for the western region”, he said. “Following the creation of more states by the military administration the old Midwest region had shrunk to two over 36 or arithmetically one over 18”.
Obaseki said while the movement is not calling for a break-up of the country, it is advocating for a more equitable and justifiable distribution, not only of the wealth of the country, but also of the originating sources of those wealth and the powers there from.