IS THE MIDWEST TOO SMALL TO BE A REGION OF ITS OWN?
*Is the Midwest too small to be a Region of its own?*
It was A WHOLE REGION before!
It was A WHOLE REGION, when ALL the 19 northern States and 3 Northern zones was a REGION like the Midwest!
It was A WHOLE REGION, when the South West (with 6 States) was a REGION like the Midwest!
It was A WHOLE REGION, when ALL the *5 States that make up the South-East along with the other 4 States of the South-South zone was a REGION like the Midwest! *
*NB:* (the old Eastern Region now has 9 states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, & Rivers).
There is No South-West State except Oyo, that is larger than either Edo (6,873 sq miles/17,801 sq Kilometers) or Delta (6,873 sq miles/17,697 sq Kilometers).
*The Midwest is Larger than ALL THE SOUTH-EAST or Biafra* - ABia, ANAMBRA, Ebonyi, Enugu & Imo States combined, has 11,346 sq Miles (29,386 sq Km) as against the MIDWEST States of Edo/Delta which is 13,706 sq Miles (35,757 sq Km).
All States/Regions in Nigeria were created by Military draconian decrees and fiats EXCEPT THE MIDWEST! In a proper country, *we are the only constitutional federating unit of Nigeria! * FACT!
*Must we INSIST on our wholeness and Legitimacy? *
We've been OVERTLY and Systemically and criminally marginalized since the advent of the military!
As at January 1966, The Regions were at par. East, West, North and Midwest. But today nko? *Check the Statistics - figures don't lie!*
The combined States of Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom & Cross Rivers (which were the *minority parts of the old Eastern Region * under, Azikiwe, Okpara & Ojukwu) now has *80 Local Govt Areas. *
The combined States of ABia, ANAMBRA, Ebonyi, Enugu & Imo (which were the *majority parts of the old Eastern Region* under, Azikiwe, Okpara & Ojukwu) now has *95 Local Govt Areas*. Therefore, the Old *EASTERN REGION now has a whopping 175 LGAs, while MIDWEST REGION (Edo/Delta combined) now has only 43 LGAs! (132 LGAs less) *
It may interest us in the MIDWEST MOVEMENT to note the following:
GEJ was born as an Eastern or Biafran.
That Calabar was the 1st capital of the Eastern Region. Before Enugu, and then Umuahia (during the Civil War)
That Portharcourt was built in 1912, and referred to by its Ikwerre-Igbo name as *Iguocha*, which is loaned from the Igbo word *Ụ́gwụ́ Ọ́chá* but was renamed in August 1913, as *Port Harcourt"* in honor of Lewis Vernon Harcourt, then the Secretary of State for the Colonies, by Governor of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard. Portharcourt is an IGBO Town!
That The Vice President of Ojukwu's Biafra was Col (or General) *Philip Effiong*. It was Effiong that surrendered Biafra to The Gowon Govt (represented by Col Obasanjo). Effiong hails from Ibiono Ibom in present-day Akwa Ibom State.
5. That the famous Obudu cattle Ranch is closer to Vande Ikya in Benue State and to Taraba, than Auchi is to Benin or Sapele (we have no Linguistic nor cultural links). They were once under subjugation of the Northern Kwararafa Kingdom and the Jukuns of Taraba and the Adamawa/Mubi Mountains.
With a combined nominal GDP of about $40bn, (inspite of just 13% *derivation*) we have an economy larger than Senegal and co, and competing favorably with Ghana & Ivory Coast. The Midwest Area contributes more than 11.8% of the nation's GDP, we have only 2 States (or less than 6% of 36 states), and 43 LGAs (or about 5.5% of 774 LGAs). Therefore, it is incumbent on the MIDWEST MOVEMENT to insist on both FISCAL and POLITICAL Re-Federalization of the Nigerian nation-State!
In all fronts, we are saddled with a historic responsibility. To free our people and create a Better Nigeria where no Man (particularly the MIDWESTERNER/Bendel man), is oppressed.
*There's no greater calling!* When you sit on the fence, life will pass you by on both sides!
God Bless the Midwest
God Bless Delta & Edo States
And God Bless Nigeria.
- *Don Pedro Obaseki,* MBA, PhD