Former head of state, President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB, has insisted that Nigeria does not need new states.
Babangida, who turns 80 today, told Vanguard in an interview at his hilltop mansion in Minna, Niger state, saying specifically no to the creation of new states.
His words: “The answer is no. We cannot continue agitating for states because we might end up with a house as a state if the search doesn’t stop.
“Where we are as a country today has given everyone a sense of belonging, as every Nigerian belongs to a particular state that he or she can call his or her. It is also good that every Nigerian, no matter how things are, should be proud of their state, work for it and make sure it is successful.
“We founded Akwa Ibom and Katsina in 1987, although the agitation for the state of Akwa Ibom began as early as 1938.
“When we got on board, there was a record of agitation for new states and we looked at them critically and we set parameters for them, mostly in terms of viability, history, etc. Cross-river state.
Commenting on Unity, IBB said, “We need to instill the spirit of unity in every Nigerian. We were at war because we wanted to remain a united country. No less than a million people were killed on either side during this war; many people were wounded on both sides.
“It is therefore imperative for all Nigerians to live in peace and ensure that the country continues to be a united and prosperous nation. If Nigeria had broken now, the people who fought and died to keep Nigeria would have suffered in vain.
“The best way to reward the dead is to keep the country united and at peace. It is therefore necessary to impress the ideals of our founding fathers on the minds of Nigerians, especially the young, through education, faith, history and education.
Avant-Garde News Nigeria