Consumate politician and Cross River State delegate to the on-going National Conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Orok Otu Duke, has informed www.calitown.com that a referendum; the principle or practice of submitting to popular vote a measure passed on or proposed by a legislative body or by popular initiative, will make the actualisation of Ogoja State a faster reality than whatever legislative processes the National Assembly will engage in. He expresses the hope that President Goodluck Jonathan “will take that route” in order that the yearnings and aspirations of the people will come to pass.
Duke who has been positively vocal in making demands at the Conference for addressing injustices that Cross River State has shouldered, believes and has severally said that Ogoja State will be one in a series of actions from the Nigerian Federation to pacify the larger CRS, as presently constituted, bearing in mind that it is only Ogoja, from the provinces of pre/post colonial Nigeria, that has not been elevated to the status of a state capital. Convinced he is that if the President has the guts to push through with the referendum, “the vote will go as expected … or projected” and may work in his favour as he approaches re-election at the polls.
However, one lawyer on condition of anonymity is warning that “those who are jubiliating that Ogoja State is around the corner must begin to understand that the issue of state creation is a long and ardous road. Section 8 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which provides for the creation of states says that an ACT of the National Assembly for the purpose of state creation shall be passed by a request supported by at least two-third majority of members representing the area demanding the creation of the new state in each of the Senate and House of Reps, among other stipulations. So we need to go do our work and not believe that what has happened at the National Conference has given us Ogoja State”. Many people who spoke with www.calitown.com, agree with this submission.
There is a hilarious angle to the ‘Ogoja State’ saga. One source wrote www.calitown.com to say that “when they create the state, all the candidates from there fighting to be governor of CRS will have to choose among themselves who will be governor and all others will automatically become House of Assembly members, commissioners, special advisers, special assistants, personal assistants and professional boot lickers”. We had nothing to say after reading the submission.
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