By Stanley Nwanosike
Enugu – The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State has called for an additional state in the South East zone to check current agitation in the zone.
The APC in the zone said that the ill-feelings of not belonging in the scheme of things had fuelled current agitations in the zone.
The Spokesmen for the party in the state, Chief Osita Okechukwu, made the call on Monday in Enugu while presenting the zone’s position to the APC Committee on True Federalism and Restructuring.
Okechukwu said that there was a need for the South-East to have equal states to be at par with other regions as proposed in the last national conference.
He, however, said that the chapter supported the current restructuring to revamp the economy as well as the strategic borrowing to reposition the infrastructure and diversification of the economy by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“However, we are urging that the modernization of rail gauge should also be done in the Enugu-Port Harcourt rail.
“There is the need for revamping Enugu Coal Mine which should serve as a critical asset to the nation,’’ he said.
Okechukwu, who is also the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), said that the chapter was in support of local government autonomy both in administration and finance.
He proposed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct council elections to ensure true transparency.
“We subscribe to state police in order to effectively deal with local issues and peculiarities which might only be handled by policemen and women that understand the local locations very well,’’ he said.
The APC stalwart said that the chapter supported the existing presidential system with some modifications including rotation of political offices at all levels of governance.
Okechukwu urged the South East to be patient and show restrain as the APC-led government was addressing the problems facing the zone one after the other.
“As we support the rotation of power, it is clear that when President Buhari finishes his eight years, the power will definitely shift to the southern part of the country.
“As we know, the South West and South-South had already taken their turns in the presidency.
“So, it is clear that the South-East will have a shot and leverage to produce the next president after President Buhari had rooted out corruption within his eight years productive administration,’’ he said.
He, however, urged the President to see the need to give more appointments to APC members in the South-East, especially people that had worked hard to grow the party all these years.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee and former Governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor, said that the forum was aimed at consulting at the party level on the clamour for true federalism and restructuring.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other members of the committee are Sen. Chris Nwankwor, Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr Simon Achoba and Yitola Abiola. (NAN)