The Akwa Ibom delegation to the National Conference has protested an attempt to excise parts of the state towards the creation of the proposed Oil Rivers State.
In a petition to the Conference Chairman, Idris Kutigi, members of the delegation said the attempt to dismember Akwa Ibom State was a treacherous plot capable of scuttling the final report of the Conference.
Those who signed the petition included a former governor of the state, Victor Attah, a former minister of Lands and Housing, Nduese Essien, and a former Military Administrator of the state, Idongesit Nkanga.
The delegates pointed out that the provision to create Oil Rivers State was contained on Page 4, Line 11 of the “Draft Constitution” produced by the Conference secretariat.
They noted that the plot amounted to a hidden agenda by people whose aim might be to scuttle the final outcome of the Conference.
Part of the letter read, “This action is at variance with the Conference decision of the Committee on Restructuring and Forms of Government. The conference decision as correctly reflected on Page 281 (b) of the draft report was that ‘the third state to be created in the South-South zone will be named later along with its state capital. This inclusion is a sleight of hand, unholy and completely unacceptable to us as there was no prior discussion with Akwa Ibom State and her delegates on the matter.”
While it supported the move for the creation of new states in deserving parts of the country, the delegates insisted that the process should have been in consultation with every relevant stakeholder.
“As the true representatives of our state and people at this Conference, we have been mandated to reject totally and disassociate ourselves and our state completely from this provision. We assert that no part of Akwa Ibom state should be excised to form a new state,” the letter concluded.