I’ve been following the debate on new states creation with a lot of interest. I am on a high just salivating at the possibility of a new state that I’m beginning to feel as if I’m on some hard drug.
I am so excited at the prospect of being a part of a new state that I’m thinking of taking some money out of my retirement savings and ordering some nice lace outfits from Dubai to celebrate the eventuality. If a new state is carved out of my current state, I won’t need a retirement benefit. I would retire with my state’s treasury.
I’d become increasingly alarmed that a decade and half has passed since the last state creation exercise. It’s only in Nigeria that people can be that patient. In many other countries, people would have pushed for a referendum, voted the entire Nationally Assembly out and vote in lawmakers who will actually be serious with their jobs for once and create a dozen more states.
I can hear some people screaming, “name the countries”. Well, it’s not my fault that my geography teacher in high school decided to take a job in the bank and our class was merged with the French class. Don’t even ask me about world history. We were still trying to learn about my state history in secondary school when they divided my state into two.
We were so confused, we all abandoned the history class. It got worse when the little benefits we used to enjoy like books disappeared. We were told that since a new state was created out of our old state, money was scarce. I guess they needed the money to pay the governor of the new states and his commissioners.
I learnt my first lesson in life that year in school. It’s never too important to plan. Just go ahead and do what you need to do. The future will take care of itself. I also learnt another thing – more is not necessarily better but the boys must chop.
But, don’t get me wrong. State creation is serious business. It’s probably more serious than governing a state. The country is still suffering from the emotional damage of British rule. The British, in their abject lack of wisdom, decided Nigeria is better ruled as two administrative entities.
Thank God someone took the scales out of their eyes before they left. They eventually split the country into three regions. I’ve always felt it’s sheer laziness on the part of the British. They probably thought, “an average man eats three meals a day, why not give these buggers three regions”.
We all saw how Nigeria suffered with three and, later four regions. The four dudes who called themselves premiers and the prime minister and his brother president were too anti-Nigerian. They only managed within their budgets, turning the poor country into a competition to better their regions. Where was the nationalism!
If Awolowo constructed a road from Lagos to Ibadan, Okpara automatically felt the competition and the need to do the same from Port Harcourt to Aba. In Kaduna, Ahmadu Bello would not sleep until he lays tar from Kano to Kaduna. The sad thing is that those roads actually lasted for years, robbing Nigerian businessmen the opportunity of rebuilding it every year.
Someone needed to have taught our founding fathers the art of wealth creation or, as some mischievous people would call it, looting the treasury. And, that was just roads. Don’t even start talking about education, health, housing and other things that separates man from animals.
Thank God for the military. They knew how to get to the people. They knew it takes states not local governments to feel closer to the people. And, they also knew that more states meant more millionaires. Since no country develops without a tribe of millionaires, the military decided that Nigeria would become the United States of Nigeria. They will create fifty states out of the four they found when they killed the politicians and took their places in 1966.
They started with twelve and were fourteen short of fifty when the masses grew tired of their khakis and tricked them back into the barracks where all they now do is march on the parade grounds endlessly, fight bus drivers and hope the government doesn’t ask them to go and fight Boko Haram.
I can’t wait to have my own little state. I’m actually thinking my street can be a state. I’m a lord on that street. That would make me an automatic candidate for governor. Some people may think it’s taking it too far. That makes me laugh. Too far is when I want my house to become a state. My street is long enough to be a state. Thank you very much.
I hate it when people complain that there are too many states already. Or, that we can’t afford to pay for the states. Why worry about what you don’t have yet. Wait until you have them and they become a problem, then you worry. Sometimes, I really think we should deport all these naysayers to Benin Republic. They don’t have many states there.
I say bring on more states. Don’t stop at fifty. Let’s go for the world record. Make it a tidy 100. It’s time we show the world how to run a country!