The 8th Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called for an extra State for the South-East region, to match the rest of the country, in terms of opportunities, especially from the National Assembly,
He made the call during Channels Television’s ‘Open Square’, on Saturday.
His exact words: “The number is lopsided, because of the way the States were created.
“Right now, South-East has just 5 States, when others have 7 and 6. With the Senate of 3 Senators per State, we have just 15, some have 18, and some have 21.
“When it comes to voting, even in terms of resources distribution, we are short-changed. If you go to the House of Representatives, it is a similar thing. I believe that the fair thing to do is for the country to agree for us to have an extra state for the South-East, so that it will enable us to match with the rest of the country in terms of opportunity at the National Assembly.”
Senator Ekweremadu also called for fairness and equity for the region, in terms of developing its infrastructure, just like other parts of the country.
According to him, his first call is to take side with the people who elected him into Office, when the issue of conflict of interest arises.
He added: “For you to return to the Assembly, you need to ensure that you will take seriously matters that concern them (the Constituents).
“Most times, they do not conflict (National and Constituency interests).
“If they do conflict, definitely you have to side the people who you are representing, because without them you will not be where you are. Say you want to construct a rail line from Lagos to Kano, which is of national interest anyway, because that is a good corridor, but you are not seeing anything happening in the eastern corridor – between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri, there is a conflict.
“Naturally, I will speak for my people and say if you are spending money for the western corridor, you should also spend for the eastern corridor; if you don’t have money for both of them, then you have to wait.
“Those are very rare times when we have those kinds of issues and that is why we need equity, we need justice, we need fairness for you to have a country that you can say is democratic.”