•Seeks more roles for traditional rulers
From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja
Senate President David Mark has thrown his weight behind creation of more states in a fresh attempt by the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution.
Last Monday, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Smart Adeyemi, raised the alarm that governors are sabotaging the move by the National Assembly to create new states.
The Senate President has joined the agitation for the creation of Apa state from the present Benue. Reiterating his support for the creation of new states, Mark noted that those canvassing against the move, said that they may not be viable.
He spoke in Oturkpo, Benue State when the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Paulinus Igwe, led a delegation of his kinsmen from Ebonyi State to felicitate with the Senate President during the Christmas. Mark said: “The argument of those opposing state creation is based on whether existing states are viable or not. But they forget that a state might be unviable just because the administrator is not ingenious with internal revenue generation or the people are not united and the administrator has to spend the available resources on achieving peace.
“I am for the creation of Apa state and any other state that may fit the conditions. I have never shied from my agitation for creation of additional states just as I have always called for the creation of roles for traditional rulers in the Constitution. The traditional rulers are the custodians of peaceful coexistence in our various local communities. We must, therefore, confer on them constitutional powers that would enable them to perform the roles of ensuring peace in the communities,” he said.
The Senate President also urged the people of Ebonyi Central Senatorial District to forgive one another and live in harmony according to the message in the birth of Jesus Christ.
“The central message of Christianity is forgiveness and unless we can genuinely forgive one another, we cannot be a good Christian. It is not easy to forgive, particularly in a situation where lives have been taken.
“But Christ’s birth brought peace, the type that was not known in the world before his coming. And he came and preached forgiveness. We must, therefore, as Christians who are supposed to be Christ-like, forgive one another. I appeal to you to also appeal to those who are at home to allow peace to reign.
“In this New Year, we must make a resolution for peace to reign in Ebonyi Central. I am willing to work to achieve this peace. If all leaders would make themselves available to work for peace in the little community, we will soon have peace as a nation,” Mark noted.
Earlier, Senator Igwe had told Mark that he brought his people to pay homage and celebrate the festive period with the Senate President and his family.`