Agitators Explain Why they’re Pressing for ENOA State out of Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

Secretary of ENOA State Movement, Dr Ikechukwu Ajuzieogu, says the major interest of the people that constitute where the new is demanded, is to bring in development to their land and to have a sense of belonging in a state they can proudly call theirs.

The people of Etche and Oyigbo in Rivers State, and those of Ndoki and Asa in Abia and Akwa Ibom states are demanding a new state to be created for them to enable them to develop their areas

The proposed new state is going with the acronym ENOA. It is derived from the initial letters of the ethnic nationalities which are, E-Etche, N-Ndoki, O-Oyigbo and A-Asa that make up the proposed ENOA State.

For Ajuzieogu, their plights and sufferings in the three states where they are currently located, can only be solved by the creation of a new state for them, which according to him, will save them, their children and unborn children from oppressively politics inherent in the current states where they are scattered.

Representatives of the ethnic groups agitating for the ENDA State met at Obehie-Asa where they spoke on their desire to have their own state, alleging a high level of marginalisation in their current states.

Coordinator of the new state movement, Onwubiko Dike, an associate professor, says the people of Etche, Oyigbo, Ndoki and Asa have suffered neglects in Rivers, Abia and Akwa-Ibom, alleging that their people who are either through boundary adjustment and state creation fixed with some larger ethnic nationalities in Rivers, Abia and Akwa-Ibom State are being treated like mere numbers in those States and not members of the states.

According to him, the creation of ENOA State will ignite tremendous socio-economic and political development in the component areas of the state, pointing out that the new state being demanded will give everyone a sense of belonging as historically, the ethnic nationalities of Etche, Oyigbo, Ndoki and Asa have the same ancestral origin and speak the same language with similar traditions.

Dike declared that in all ramifications, ENOA has what it takes to become a state with a population estimate of about 6,422,578 people and a landmass of about 6,356.5 square kilometres, adding further that the proposed state is located within the forest belt of Nigeria with a temperature that ranges from 20ºC (twenty degrees celsius) to 36ºC (thirty-six degrees celsius).

The proposed ENOA State according to him would be bounded with Abia in the North and North-East, Imo State in the North-West, Rivers in the South-East and South-West and Akwa-Ibom in the East.

Continuing, he said economically the proposed new state will be very viable as it is richly blessed and abundantly endowed with lots of mineral resources such as oil and gas, gold, special sand for making glassware and huge agricultural resources such as palm produce, timber, too many vegetables and edible fruits.

Dike said that currently, the proposed ENOA State has 318 functional oil wells with 90 capped and millions of standard cubic feet of gas per day, coupled with her potential and available tourist centres like the Azumini Blue River, Obeaku Beach, Asa-Ugbo Bekee Beach, Otamiri Confluence Beach, Obete Beach etc.

Dike said that the worst thing that ever happened to the ethnic nationalities involved in the push for the creation of ENOA State is to be included in states where they are seen as mere numbers for counting purposes and not worthy indigenes of their various states.

He said that the ENOA State creation movement was born out of the desire of the fathers of the involved ethnic nationalities not to allow their grandchildren to suffer what they have and are currently suffering in states where their welfare are treated as nobody’s business.

Dike said that aside from the 1978 Justice Mamman Nasir National Boundary Adjustment Commission that separated 17 Asa and Ndoki communities from their kins in Abia by placing them in Rivers State, Ohaobu and Akpala-Ndoki communities were wrongly delineated and placed under Akwa-Ibom State.

He said that equally, many Asa communities were wrongly placed in Osisioma-Ngwa, Aba North, Aba South and Ugwunagbo Local Government Areas while many Ndoki communities were wrongly placed in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State.

Dike said that the balkanization of ENOA lands and the unwholesome fixing of ENOA people in states and Local Government Areas where they can hardly breathe has stagnated the development of the people whom he described as highly endowed with adequate, vibrant and resourceful manpower.

Meanwhile, Ajuzieogu has said that the geopolitical zone where the proposed ENOA state will be situated is not the people’s major concern right now, adding that they are willing to stay in any place the Federal Government wishes to put them.

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