ANNANG HERITAGE PRESERVATION INC.
...remembering the past so we can preserve our future
POSITION PAPER IN SUPPORT OF THE CREATION OF ITAI STATE
The history of federalism in Nigeria is marked by stops and starts and what passes for power sharing between the center and the federating units is lopsided at best and dictatorial at worst. While units in other federations around the world assume a constitutional means of creation, the present Nigerian structures were often created through military fiat. This fact carries an inherent weakness and error. Among these are: the neglect of historical ties, the elevation of tribal considerations over economic realities, and the violation of the tenets of social justice. The reality is that the state is the unit through which the oil money is shared and through which political appointments are made. Today the Annang and Ibibio have only one state while other groups have several states. The irony of this is that the oil wealth in Nigeria is from the south –south who are left to suffer the effect of oil exploration.
State designation is made arbitrarily and is used as an instrument of domination. Between 1903 and 1945 for example, the British established 17 provinces in Northern Nigeria. Today, those provinces have been turned into 20 states if Ilorin is included as the British did. Old provinces are now called States except in Akwa Ibom where two provinces have been merged into one. The northerners have given themselves more states so they can reap a greater share of the oil wealth. We in our land have still not agreed on the need for a political unit call state. Some have seen the demand for Itai State as fragmentation while others see it a threat to homogenization. The creation of Itai State for the Annang is an investment for the future. Personal and communal investments are more than mere savings for a rainy day; they are the starting point for the next generation. WE at Annang Heritage Preservation, call on the Federal government of Nigeria to create a state for the Annangs to be called Itai State, with the capital at the historic Ikot Ekpene. This is our position!.