New states? Not needed – and more, in today’s news round-up with Cheta Nwanze

by Cheta Nwanze

Lagos state has recorded fewer okada accidents since its fitness programme began. On my part, I now have a two-pack as the erstwhile stubborn one-pack is finally beginning to see reason.

As of 1 October, 1960, there was the Northern Region. Largely self sufficient, with an economy that while not booming, was at the very least capable of self sustenance. Then in 1967, as a result of the crisis that emerged following two coups in 1966, the Northern region was split into six pieces, and we had Benue-Plateau state. This behemoth of a state, was at the time the third largest of the 12 states, and was also self sustaining. Lots of agriculture and solid minerals. Then, and quite sadly, the oil boom happened, and like the rest of Nigeria, the people of Benue-Plateau forgot their farms and their tin, and began to agitate instead to be split from one another. Their pleas were heard and in 1976, they got the split that they craved. Benue and Plateau states were born. This new state held for another two decades, and in 1996 Nasarawa state was born. Bear in mind though, that a part of Benue state was merged with a part of Kwara state in 1991 to form Kogi state. Now let us look at each of these four states, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Plateau. In terms of value to our economy, they are ranked 15th, 23rd, 31st and 20th respectively. Considering that in previous newsletters, we have established that Nigeria is a highly unproductive country, one wonders why our Senate President is thinking of creating more banana states rather than focusing on actually passing laws such as the Petroleum Industry Bill and Tax Reform which will actually boost our productivity. As the people of Ezillo and Ezaa in another highly unproductive state (Ebonyi, number 34 in GDP) have shown, being kith and kin will not solve communal problems.

Communal problems, which are quite common in various parts of our country, could be what is responsible for the corpses that were discovered just inside Anambra state on Saturday. As of yesterday, evacuation had started, and autopsies will begin to determine the causes of death. “We have also discovered that there were no gun injuries or machete cuts on their bodies as being speculated and the dead bodies were not up to 30 or 50 as rumoured,” clarified Anambra beret, Bala Nassarawa while speaking with DPOs under his command. That is a bit of a relief, but we would still want to request that the police find out precisely what killed all those poor devils, and make sure that the perps are brought to book.

And not just brought to book on the pages of newspapers, as has become the sad habit of the Presidency. Following the rude interruption of Pa Bayero’s breakfast on Saturday, officials at Aso Rock have brought out that rather worn out phrase book, turned to page 19, and clarified for us, “the security agencies will do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous act are identified and brought to justice.” Cue, the attackers making a beeline to freedom.

Which is something that erstwhile MEND boss Henry Okah will not be tasting for a while. You see, Don Okah had the misfortune of being caught in a serious civilization, one that doesn’t mouth “rule of law”, but actually respects it. For that little oversight, he will be breaking rocks at Robben Island for the rest of his natural life. Expect him to return to Nigeria in just under three decades, run for President, and unite us as a new rainbow nation.

Bits and bobs

Senate President, David Mark would be of better service to the nation if the Police College scandal is sorted out, not just at committee level, but in actual fact. We need a more credible police force, not a law concerning what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms, and definitely not new states.

The curse of oil has spread along the West African coast. On the same day that some Ivorian pirates decided to relieve a Nigerian fuel tanker of its contents and occupants, Ghana has discovered even more oil. My condolences to the Ghananese.

Tired of his officials speaking from different sides of their mouths, Lagos fila, Tunde Fashola has issued a new edict: SHUT THE HELL UP!

Lagos state has recorded fewer okada accidents since its fitness programme began. On my part, I now have a two-pack as the erstwhile stubborn one-pack is finally beginning to see reason. Maybe I will finally fit into my wedding suit.

Or better still play for Nigeria in Brazil in 2014 if we make it. Since Papa Eagles could not even beat a bunch of aesthetically-challenged Stallions, doubts are beginning to emerge as to whether those footballers are fit for purpose. I wonder whether the Mirror will investigate how many pot-bellied Nigerian men were admitted to Igbobi last night after breaking their feet on their television sets…



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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