IKA FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY AND REPRESENTATION AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE – Ika Weekly

Now that the
assemblage of selected representatives to the National Conference (NE),
precedent to the amendment of the 1999 constitution or drafting of an entirely
new one, it has become imperative to take an insider look at the representation
of Ika Federal Constituency at the august gathering. As at the moment, with
on-going objections to Mr. President’s style of selecting delegates, one cannot
be too sure who our representatives may eventually be, but suffice it to submit
that Ika needs a vibrant and coordinated input in order to  be able to push across issues that will
eventually favour our own geographical entity.

It’s been a
long time now, that man evolved from the state of nature adjudged to be
pleasant, peaceful, with good will, mutual assistance and self preservation; a
state of perfect freedom and equality. The state of nature nonetheless had its
challenges and cons bedevilled as it were with diverse sources of conflict and
encouraging some people that had strength to take undue advantage of the weak
without the structure or opportunity to seek redress. It was also a period
dominated by fear and consistent danger, lacking in laws and executive powers
to enforce them. In modern times the mode of governing the people has also kept
on transforming and various typologies can be pointed to, thus: democracy,
monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy and gerontocracy. People of different
geographical zones overtime have consciously or unconsciously, overtly or
covertly entered into social contracts that demand that they submit their
legislative, executive and judicial powers to sovereignty and retain only their
rights, civil liberty and property. It is a pact which men freely consent to in
order to enter into a political society, to avoid the inconvenience of the
state of nature and by so doing they form a commonwealth. 

The question at
arises in our present circumstance and with special reference to the
constitution and nomination of delegates to the proposed National Conference
(NC) by President Goodluck Jonathan is whether this commonwealth he enjoys with
his administrative team entitles him to take such steps without consultation or
deferring to the citizens they hold power in trust for. The simple answer to
the question is YES! Many Nigerians have had several axes to grind with the1999
constitution even as reviewed and amended, while others have persistently
called for such National Conference whether sovereign or otherwise. Now that
the sitting President has taken the bull by the horn, it is imperative that we,
the people of Ika Federal Constituency (IFC) should critically look inward to
determine what issues are dear to which must be logically articulated and
courageously vented with desired affirmation and unwavering determination.

There is this
popular saying that it is indeed better to jaw-jaw in a civil society than to
war-war, and this lends credence to the necessity for the diverse peoples that
make up Nigeria as a nation, with different political affiliations, of varying
professional fields and lying in unique geographical divides come together at a
roundtable to dissect the problems and challenges of our collective nationhood
with intent to strengthening our wobbling brotherhood through the enactment of
laws that is of the general will. According to James J. Rousseau, law i.e.
constitution is established by the whole people for whole people, considering
itself. Law being the general will and objective of the people therefore remain
the terms of the civic association and only those who come together to form a
society are entitled to specify the conditions under which they do so. Rousseau
further posits that people may delegate a body to formulate these laws because
the general will needs enlightenment to perceive what it wills.

With the people
of Ika nation; as is common with our kith and kin in Anioma home and in
Diaspora, the creation of Anioma state is uppermost at heart with attendant
issues of federal presence within our federal constituency. From the time of
independence, Ika has remained a weeping baby in Mid-west, Bendel and
subsequently Delta state. There has been no governor produced from the area
despite its central and critical agricultural and networking position in the
scheme of things in all the political formations in which it has subsisted.
There is neither a Federal Higher institution nor a notable federal industry
that could create jobs for teeming educated and industrious Ika youths. In
addition to this, the two local government areas in Ika land are grossly
inadequate to meet with contemporary developmental demands. It therefore
behoves our representatives to canvass for the creation of at least one more
local government area for effective and even spread of development.

Ika people have
largely been submissive and supportive of Nigeria as a unified entity,
contributing in no small measure to the development and growth of the nation’s
economy and Gross National Product (GDP) by its agricultural activities and
political sagacity. Ika people have great supply of different farm produce
which are basic raw materials, such as palm oil, palm kernel, yam, cassava,
tomatoes, pineapple, oranges and mangoes that should there be the establishment
of any factory to preserve, adopt and transform these primary products to secondary
and tertiary products, Ika and Infact, Nigeria as a nation will be better for
it. There is therefore the imperative for this need to be pushed across and
hardly too at the conference so that at the end of the day, Ika will have
viable objects to point to as outcome of our participation in the National
conference.

As things
presently stand with the NC, it is unclear what roles the commonwealth is
assigning members of the National Assembly (NASS) in the intended National
Conference but aside our Distinguished and humble but definitely articulate and
erudite Senator, Dr. Sir (chief) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and Honourable Victor
Nwokolo who seem to still be learning his ropes at the hallowed chambers, Ika
need to ensure that men and women of integrity, candour and valour, courageous
enough to make their marks at this gathering are identified and used. The
federal constituency must forge strongly ahead in unfolding a new Nigeria where
even the minority has a say and possibly a way. This time we must bake the
building blocks that are tested, reliable and durable; else we will be left in
the labyrinth perpetually complaining and moaning, while our counterparts from
other geographical areas forge progressively ahead. What is good for the geese
is good for the gander. For instance, Bayelsa state today can boast of a
Federal University despite the fact that it cannot boast of as much population
as the Aniomas within Delta state, it has produce a sitting President, even if
by providence. This should be our encouragement. When one sits back without
taking action to change his fortune he remains as he is.

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