THE ITSEKIRI ETHNIC NATIONALITY
DELTA STATE OF NIGERIA
THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OFTHE 1999
REQUEST FOR THE CREATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Creation of More States
Option A: Request for the Creation of Warri State
Option B: Request for Warri to be made a Special Area
- Recognition of the Six Geo-Political Zones in the Constitution
- Local Government
- Taking out the following from the Constitution:
Land Use Act
Code of Conduct
- Fiscal Federalism
- Amendments of Provisions relating to Amendment of
the Constitution; State Creation, and Boundary
Adjustment – to remove ambiguities
- Nigerian Police
- Residency and Indigene Provisions
- Executive Summary
- Contact Address
- INTRODUCTION Geographical Location:The Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality whose homeland is Warri occupies the Northwestern extremity of the Niger Delta. It is bounded on the West by the Bight of Benin and latitude 50 20’ and 60 North and longitude 50 5’ and 50 40’ East. Their neighbours are the Bini to the North, the Ijaw to the South, the Urhobo to the East and the Yoruba of Ondo State to the Northwest. The Area is approximately 1,520 square miles.
- According to P. C. Llyod in The Benin Kingdom and the Edo-Speaking Peoples of South-Western Nigeria (together with a section on the Itsekiri), published by the International African Institute, London, 1957, at page 172.“The Administrative Unit known as the Warri Division of Delta Province, whose Area is, 1,520 square miles is approximately coterminous with the territory of the Itsekiri.”
- From about 1490 – 1884, the Itsekiri had an independent political kingdom known as Warri Kingdom. It was not subordinate to any of the World Powers in Europe or any African Kingdom. It was in 1894 when the Niger Coast Protectorate was established that it came under the protection of Her Britannic Majesty vide the Treaty of 1884.
- By another Treaty of 1894, the Itsekiri remained under the British until the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria was created. In 1914, without consultation with the Itsekiri people, Lord Lugard decreedNigeria into existence and made Warri Kingdom (Itsekiri homeland) part of this enterprise.
- Other ethnic nationalities administered as either Kingdom or Clan, Emirate and other definitive political entities, existing at different and varying levels of development, were forcibly amalgamated by Lord Lugard to foster the British Imperialist goals. This amalgamation gave birth to Nigeria which Governor Arthur Richards and late Chief Awolowo in the 1950’s described as “a mere geographical expression” and the Sardauna of Sokoto called the “mistake of 1914”.
- CREATION OF MORE STATESIntroductionNigeria is a mere geographical expression. What make Nigeria are the ethnic nationalities which were brought together from 1884 – 1914 by the British Colonial Administration. These ethnic nationalities were administered as kingdoms, emirates, clans and other definitive political entities in pre-colonial times.
- These ethnic nationalities are organic and are corporations in accordance with customary law. They have souls and are indestructible entities. They are in the true sense “the federating” units in the Nigeria Project, and not the artificially created states. The Nigeria Federation must be an expression of the diversity of the ethnic nationalities in the country. The ethnic nationalities should be the federating units. The cry of marginalization, fiscal federalism and resource control is expression of desire for ethnic self-determination. The artificially created states have not and cannot satisfy this desire.
- The solution to this cry for ethnic self determination for the Itsekiris lies in two options: i. Option ACreation of A Warri Stateii. Option BRequest for Warri to be made a Special Area
- OPTION A: REQUEST FOR THE CREATION OF A WARRI STATEThe following we hold as our inalienable rights:a) The preservation and control of our land b) The preservation of our languagec) The inviolability of our traditionsd) The right to participate in the government of this country at all levels
- The Itsekiri demand the creation of a Warri State as a solution to their minority problem. The area of the proposed state should be conterminous with the old Warri Division, Itsekiri homeland (now Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State). The Itsekiri produce over 30% of the oil and gas that sustain the Nigerian nation and sadly they have no representative at the Senate of 109 members because of their minority position. It has only one number in the Federal House of Representatives of 360 seats. Of the 29 members of the Delta State House of Assembly, it has only 3.
- India, the world’s largest democracy had its independence in 1947. After the 1971 constitutional amendments, it divided its country into states and special areas mainly in accordance with local cultural and linguistic unities. Along these divisions are large states like Maharastra with a population of about 100,000,000, Andhra Pradesh (80,000,000) side by side with Mizoram with 600,000 and Sikkim (500,000).
- Belgium, after internal discord that led to the legislation of the 1970s and 1980s created three autonomous Regions in accordance with language distribution: Flemish Flanders, French Wallonia, and Billingual Brussels. In 1993 it became a federation comprising the three regions.
- Population strength of Itsekiri in Warri 1963 Census Figures (with Ethnic classification) Ethic Group Population % of Total
* Itsekiri 92,711 64
* Ijaw in 3 enclaves 20,702 14
* Urhobo of Agbassa 2,000 1.4
* Other Urhobo, Edo, etc 29,167 20
Source: 1963 Census, Warri
1996 Census Figures (no ethnic classification)
Warri North 137,300
Warri South 303,417
Warri South West 116,681
- Warri with an area of approximately 1520 square miles and a population of over 500,000 is bigger and more populous than countrieslike Andora (Area: 457 sq km (170 sq miles) (population: 72,766), Antigua and Barmuda (Area: 691 sq km (264 sq miles) (population: 523,060), Barbados (Area:430 sq km (264 sq miles) (population: 261,580), Belize (population: 204,450), Brunei (population: 284,000), Dominica (Area: 751 sq km (290 square miles), population: 82,430), Equitorial Guinea (population: 432,840), Faroe Islands, (Area: 1,399 sq km (540 sq miles) population: 46,390), Grenada (Area: 344 sq km (133 sq miles) population 94,373), Iceland (population: 263,800), Kiribati (Area: 726 sq km (280 square miles) population: 75,690), Liechntenstein (Area: 160 sq km (62 sq miles) population: 29,400), Luzembourg (Area: 2586 sq km (998 sq miles) (population: 392,950), Maldives (Area: 298 sq km (115 sq miles) population: 251,650), Malta (Area: 316 sq km) (122 sq miles) (population: 367,000), Monaco (Area: 1.95 sq km (0.75 sq miles) (population: 31,300), Nauru (Area: 2 sq km (8 sq miles) population: 11,680), Palau (Area: 458 sq km (177 sq miles) population: 16,950), San Marino (Area: 61 sq km (24 sq miles) population: 74,830), Singapore (Area: 640 sq km) (247 sq miles), Solomon Islands (population: 378,500), Tonga (Area: 750 sq km (290 sq miles) population: 106,368), Vannatu (population: 162,300), Western Samoa (Area: 2,831 sq km (1,093 sq miles (population: 203,680) and many others.
- It is an irony that while these countries sit side by side on equal basis with bigger nations like China (Area: 9,571,300 sq km (3,695,500 sq miles) population: 928,658,000), United State of America (Area: 9,809,431 sq km (3,787,421 sq miles) population: 286,480,000) at United Nations, the Itsekiri are seeking a local platform to walk erect like other majority ethnic groups in Nigeria.
- ECONOMIC VIABILITYa)Oil & Gas:
The 3 Warri LGAs are the source of about 30% of Nigeria’s total oil production, and over 70% of Delta State quantum. Warri, the proposed headquarters of the State, is the mega metropolis of the present Delta State and contributes about 80% of its internally generated revenue. Other assets:
i. Chevron Tank Farm at Escravos
ii. The EGTL Projects in Escravos (all in Warri South West LGA)
iii. The Bonga, Okan and over 20 other oil fields
iv. The Warri Refinery in Warri South LGA
v. Chevron & Shell Field Offices in Warri & Escravos
vi. Koko has been designated Export Processing Zone
b) PortsThere are three major seaports in Warri, Koko and Escravos, and the last-named loads ocean-liners from its tank farm.
c) AgricultureFishing trawlers are based within the proposed state for fishing, shrimping & crayfishing. These industries hold great promises.
- d) TourismThe Nanna Living History Museum in Koko – the first of its kind in this part of Africa – and the Royal Cemetery, Ijala in Warri – a potential World Heritage Site – are the must-see areas in the new state.
- OPTION B:
REQUEST FOR WARRI TO BE MADE A SPECIAL AREA
Alternative to Option “A” is the demand for Itsekiri homeland of Warri to be made a Special Area as it were under the Midwestern Nigeria Constitution of 1964.
- At the Constitutional Conference of 1953, preparatory towards Nigeria’s Independence, it was decided that Nigeria should be a Federation of three Regions (and the Federal capital territory of Lagos). Residual powers resided in the Regions. The result of this decision was a Federation of three Regions, in which in each of the regions, it was possible to distinguish between a majority group making about two-thirds of the population and minority groups amounting to about one-third.
- When the Constitutional Conference resumed in 1954, some of these minority groups, including the Itsekiri, expressed fears about their future in the Regions of this kind and demanded for recognition either as a separate state or other such definitive political entities. Since the issue was not on the agenda for 1954 it was put on the agenda for the next conference.
- At the next Constitutional Conference in 1957, various claims by minorities for separate states were presented. The Conference directed the then Secretary of State for the colonies to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the fears of the minorities. The Commission was accordingly appointed on the 26th September 1957, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Henry Willink. The Commission became known as The Willink Commission.
- The terms of reference of the Commission include:“1. To ascertain the factors about the fears of minorities in any part of Nigeria, and to propose means of allaying those fears, whether well or ill founded.2. To advise what safeguards should be included for this purpose in the Constitution of Nigeria…”
- The Willink Commission submitted its findings to the 1959 Constitutional Conference, at its resumed sitting. The Conference in its report stated as follows at paragraph 52:“ The conference agreed that: a) A minority area should be created in the Western Region and should consist the whole of Benin and Delta Provinces, including Warri Division and Akoko-Edo District on the understanding that the position of Warri Division in relation to the proposed area should be further considered locally by the Government of Western Region. The Conference took note of the undertaking by the Western Regional Government that they would discuss the question further with all interests concerned on their return to Nigeria…”
- Thus when in 1963 the Mid-western Region was created, Warri Division (now Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas) was made a “Special Area” by the provisions of the Midwestern Nigeria Act, 1964, to meet the demands of the Constitutional Conference and to accelerate economic developments in the area which had suffered criminal neglect inspite of its early and outstanding political and social history before the advent of the European and the early period of British settlement in Nigeria.
- Section 7(3) of the Midwestern Region Constitution provided,“A law made by the Legislature of the Region may provide that, notwithstanding that a person satisfies any of the requirements of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1) of this section, he shall not be qualified to be a member of the House of Assembly for a constituency in a special area within the meaning of subsection (4) of section 14 of this Constitution unless he satisfies such conditions as may be specified by that law; and until provisions to the contrary is made by such law there shall, as respects the constituencies in each area described in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the first column of the First Schedule to this Constitution, be deemed to be specified by such a law which so provides the condition that a person shall be a member in accordance with customary law of the ethnic group specified as respects that area in the second column of that Schedule”.
- Section 14(4) further provided:“Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this section, each of the special areas within the meaning of this subsection shall be divided into four constituencies in the manner mentioned in subsection (1) of this section; but the constituencies established in pursuance of this subsection shall be included in, and shall not be additional to, the total number of constituencies established in pursuance of the said subsection (1).“in this and the next following subsection, “Special Areas” means such areas within the Region (not for the time being exceeding four) as may be specified for the purpose of this subsection by a law made by the Legislature of the Region; and until provision to the contrary is made by such a law, the areas described in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and respectively of the first column of the First Schedule to this Constitution shall each be deemed to be specified as aforesaid.”
- Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 & 4 of the first column of the First Schedule to thConstitution provide
Section 7, 14. FIRST SCHEDULE
Special areas, etc
- The Akoko-Edo area, that is to say, the area comprising so much of the electoral district established by the proclamation and designated and numbered thereby as Afenmai North West, No. 177, as consists of the District Council Area of Akoko-Edo within the meaning of the proclamation.
- The Isoko area, that is to say, the area of the electoral district established by the proclamation and designated and numbered thereby as Urhobo East, No. 233.
- The Warri area, that is to say, the area of the electoral district established by the proclamation and designated and numbered thereby as Warri No. 235.
- The Western Ijaw area, that is to say, the area of the electoral district established by the proclamation and designated and numbered thereby as Western Ijaw, No. 236.
- In this schedule, “the proclamation” means the Proclamation known as the Establishment of Electoral Districts Proclamation, 1958, and published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 115 of 1958, as in force on the first day of November, 1963.”
- The area described in paragraph 3 of the first column of the First Schedule of the Constitution is “the Warri area”, that is to say, the area of the electoral district established by the proclamation and designated and numbered thereby as “Warri, No. 235” and the ethnic group specified as respects this area is the Itsekiri ethnic group.
- Section 14(5) provided:“A law made by the Legislature of the Region for the purpose of subsection (4) of this section shall not come into force as respects any existing special area unless:-
(a) A referendum upon the question whether the law should come into force has been held in that area in pursuance of provision made in that behalf by the Legislature of the Region; and
(b) The persons entitled to vote in the referendum were those who at the date of the referendum were entitled to vote in elections of members of the House of Assembly for the constituencies in that area: and(c) Not less than two-thirds of all those persons voted in the referendum in favour of the law”.
- It must be noted that “Warri Area” was not only the area designated Special Area by the Midwestern Nigeria Act, 1964. Neither was the Itsekiri ethnic group the only ethnic group specified in respect to these Special Areas.
- The then Akoko-Edo area is described in paragraph 1 of the first column of the First Schedule of the Constitution and the area of the electoral district established by proclamation and designated and numbered thereof as “Afenmai North West, No. 177” and the ethnic group specified as respects the area is the “The Yoruba speaking Edo ethnic group.”
- The Isoko area was established by proclamation and designated and numbered thereby as “Urhobo East, No. 233” and the ethnic group specified with regard to this area is “The Isoko ethnic group.”
- The Ijaws too had theirs as “Western Ijaw, No. 236.”
- To satisfy the desire of the people to work out machinery for the preservation of their culture and general communal interests, these provisions were inserted in the constitution of the Midwestern Region for that purpose.
- We further demand that such a clause should provide for at least 2 seats in each of the two houses of the National Assembly for the Itsekiri ethnic National Special Area to be created in the light of their present economic contribution to the Nigerian Nation.
- The Human Rights Committees, General Comment 23 on Article 27, the Rights of The Minorities, fiftieth session, 1994 provides at paragraph 7 as follows:“With regard to the exercise of the cultural rights protected under Article 27, the committee observes that culture manifests itself in many forms, including a particular way of life associated with the use of land resources especially in the case of indigenous people. That right may include such traditional activities as fishing or hunting… The enjoyment of those rights may require a positive legal measures of protection and measures to ensure for effective participation of members of minority communities in decisions which affects them directly.”
37. RECOGNITION OF SIX GEO POLITICAL ZONES IN THE CONSTITUTION We call for the recognition of the following zones:i. South West Zone ii. Mid West Zone – to be carved out of south-South Zone and to comprise Edo and Delta Statesiii. South East Zone iv. South-South Zonev. North East Zonevi. North Central Zone vii. North West Zone viii. Middle Belt Zone – to be carved out of North-Central Zone and to comprise Benue, Plateau and Kogi States
- LOCAL GOVERNMENTThe poor performance of the Local Government Councils notwithstanding, we are of the firm view that Local Government Councils should be retained with autonomy and suggested modifications. John Stuart Mill (1806 – 73), a political philosopher said in “Consideration on Representative Government” in his Three Essays, thus: “The very object of having a Local representation is in order that those who have any interest in common, which they do not share with the general body of their countrymen, may manage that joint interest by themselves.”.
- Local Government was known under pre-colonial era as Native Administration System. The Native Administration system comprised four main interdependent parts.
(i) The Resident who provide direction and control
(ii) The Native Authority, usually headed by a chief who enjoyed a legitimacy under the indigenous political system, often supported by a council of elders
(iii) The Native treasury, and
(iv) The Native Court composed of representatives of the Native Administration.
- One of the great colonial administrators, Sir Donald Cameron (Governor of Nigeria) (1935 – 43) stated the objective of the native administrations as follows, in his book the principles of Native Administration and their Application, at page 1:“The system of native administration generally adopted in the protectorate of Nigeria is known as ‘indirect administration’ and based on several principles, is designed to adapt to purposes of Local government the tribal institutions which the native people have evolved for themselves so that the latter may develop in a constitutional manner from their own past, guided and restrained by the traditions and sanctions which they have inherited, moulded or modified as they may be on the advice of the British officers. It is an essential feature of the system that, within the limitations, the British Government rules through these native institutions which are regarded as an integral part of the machinery of Government with well-defined powers and functions recognized by Government and by Law and not dependent on the caprice of an executive officer.”
- It is in further recognition of the right of the ethnic groups to self determination that when Divisional Authorities were created in place of Native Authorities it was on homeland or ethnic basis. Thus we had the Warri Divisional Council (now Warri South, Warri South West and Warri North Local Government Council Areas) established in 1949 on the basis of the Itsekiri homeland.
- The guiding principle was that people of the same ethnic groups were to be placed within the same unit of Local Administration, co-terminus with their homeland.
- The agitation for Local Government Councils and even States is all borne out of a strong desire for ethnic self determination and this will be better achieved if the Local Government Councils are retained, with modifications to meet the demand for Local autonomy for ethnic groups large or small in the States. Thus we recommend that for an efficient Local Government Councils, existing Councils should be reverted to the pre 1976 status. This is because the proliferation of new Local Government Councils nationwide has not met the developmental aspiration of the people.
- In carrying out these reforms, sections 7 & 8 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) should be amended such that Local Government Councils are created and recognized by the constitution as a third tier of Government.
- The Unified Local Government Systems:The establishment of the Local Government Service Commission in line with the unified Local Government System is a bane to effective administration of Local Government Councils.
- Firstly, it is the Local Government Service Commission in each State that is charged with the responsibilities of appointments, transfer, discipline and dismissal of Local Government employees, even though salaries are paid by the Councils. Thus while a Local Government employee owes his/her appointments and dismissal to the Local Government Service Commission, he/she only earns his/her salary from Local Government Council. An erring staff of the Council cannot be disciplined by the Council that pays the salary but the Local Government Service Commission. In such a situation it is not he that pays the piper that dictates the tune. This breeds indiscipline and inefficiency in Local Government administration.
- Secondly, recruitments of staff for Local Government Councils by the Local Government Service Commission are done without regard to vacancies and viability of the councils’ concern. This has led to an over bloated bureaucracy with its attendant financial involvement. No loyalty too. Worst still, some of the personnel like the HPM and Treasurer posted to Local Councils are in most cases, not indigenes of the Council Areas, and therefore, ethnic, communal or local commitment to development is lacking.
- 4 Thirdly, the uniform salary structure for all Local Government Council in a state is not in consonance with the principles behind Local Government administration. The revenue generation and viability of Local Government Councils are not uniform and yet they have uniform salary structure. What this translates into is that the burden of salaries of workers is forced on some. This burden has almost crippled the administration of Local Government Councils nation-wide.
- Suggested Solutions:a)The Local Government Service Commission should be abolished in each State and each Local Government Council should employ its staff, fix their remuneration and exercise the power of hire and fire. This will instill greater discipline and efficiency in the system and make it truly local.b) The salaries of Local Government workers should not be uniform. It should depend on the economic viability of each Council.
- State Joint Local Government CouncilIn order to further enhance the independence of the Local Government Councils and remove them from the apron string of the states, the State joint Local Government account as provided for in section 162 sub sections (5) (6) & (7) should be deleted from the constitution, and an appropriate provision made for direct payment of Local Government allocations to them.
- TAKING OUT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE CONSTITUTION:a)Land Use Actb) NYSC Actc) Code of Conduct
- OUR POSITION We support the abrogation of the Land Use Act but oppose taking out of the constitution the NYSC Act and the Code of Conduct.
- FISCAL FEDERALISM Ethnic Nationalities are to own and control their resources and pay appropriate taxes to the Federal or Union Government. The principle of derivation should be well entrenched in the constitution to encourage federating units to generate revenue for its administration.
- We say this because, having regard to the arbitrary way the states were created by military fiat, they do not own resources in the way American States own their resources. The American States existed on their own with their resources before they voluntarily joined the American Federation with such resources.
- In the Nigerian case, it cannot be said that the states own resources in the same way as the American States. The truth of the matter is that Nigerian resources are found and located in and owned by the various ethnic homelands, which existed before Lord Lugard’s amalgamation in 1914. Today, all such resources, which form the subject matter of resource control demand, are within the territory of the various ethnic homelands. With the way resources are being currently controlled and managed by the various states under the present regime, the actual and natural owners of the resources are being short-changed and marginalized.
- Our stand, therefore, is that the constitution must provide a clear-cut guarantee which ensures that Local Government Councils which represent the ethnic homeland from where the resources are derived, should have a specified share of the resources paid directly as revenue to the States. We recommend a sharing formula of 40% to the state and 60% to the Local Government Council where the resources are derived from. And machinery should be put in place by an appropriate legislation to ensure that the 60% allocated to the deserving-local councils get to the appropriate oil producing communities by way of proportional development.
- AMENDMENT OF PROVISIONS RELATING TO AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION; STATE CREATION, AND BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT – TO REMOVE AMBIGUITIESWe are opposed to any amendment of Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) relating to state creation and boundary adjustment. There is no ambiguity in the said provision. It is only cumbersome. That a provision is cumbersome does not mean that it is ambiguous. The reason for it is not farfetched. State creation and boundary adjustment are not meant to be simple matters for people who are merely seeking political empire for themselves and for no other reason.
- Our humble position is that Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) should be left as it is to discourage frivolous request for state creation and boundary adjustment.
- THE NIGERIAN POLICEWe call for the reform of the Nigerian Police for it to discharge its constitutional responsibilities. It should be properly funded and equipped and well trained personnel. The welfare of the members of the Police Force is also paramount. The condition of service of the police presently calls for urgent attention. Sufficient barracks should be built for men and officers of the Police Force. This will not only improve their welfare but will make mobilization, in case of emergency, easier.
- The Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality is opposed to State Police as presently being canvassed by some State Governors. The fear that State Governments might use it as political weapon to oppress and marginalize both real and imagined political opponents and ethnic nationalities in the States is real. Such a situation will only give a legitimacy and legal clothing to ethnic militias like the OPC, EGBESU, etc.
- RESIDENCY AND INDIGENE PROVISIONSThere is a difference between a person who is an indigene and one that is ordinarily resident in a place. An indigene is a person who originates from a particular place – homeland. It is tied to ethnicity. The person who has its residency in a homeland other than his cannot enjoy equal right and recognition with an indigene. If this distinction is not made clear and indigenes are protected, some minority ethnic nationalities risk extinction in the face of urban migration by majority ethnic nationalities from their homeland. For example, the indigenes of Onitsha, Itsekiri of Warri, Yoruba of Lagos are facing this threat as a result of migration by other ethnic groups to their homeland.
- CREATION OF MORE STATESItsekiri demand the creation of a Warri State or in the alternative Warri be made a Special Area to be protected by provisions to be inserted in the constitution.
- RECOGNITION OF SIX GEO POLITICAL ZONES IN THE CONSTITUTION We call for the recognition of the following zones:i.South West Zone ii. Mid West Zone – to be carved out of south-South Zone and to comprise Edo and Delta Statesiii. South East Zone ix. South-South Zonex. North East Zonexi. North Central Zone xii. North West Zone xiii. Middle Belt Zone – to be carved out of North-Central Zone and to comprise Benue, Plateau and Kogi States
- LOCAL GOVERNMENTThe Local Government Councils should be reformed. Unified local government system should be abolished. Local Government Service Commission should be abolished. Councils should be empowered to hire and fire its employees. Uniform salary structure for Councils should be abolished. Each Local Government Council should fix the salary of its workers. Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to bring this suggestion into conformity with the provisions of the constitution.
- TAKING OUT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE CONSTITUTION:a)Land Use Actb) NYSC Actc) Code of Conduct We call for the abrogation of the Land Use Act and its removal from the constitution but the support the retention of the NYSC Act and Code of Conduct.
- FISCAL FEDERALISMEthnic Nationalities are to own and control their resources and pay appropriate taxes to the Federal or Union Government. The principle of derivation should be well entrenched in the constitution to encourage federating units to generate revenue for its administration.
- AMENDMENT OF PROVISIONS RELATING TO AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION; STATE CREATION, AND BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT – TO REMOVE AMBIGUITIESWe are opposed to any amendment of Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) relating to state creation and boundary adjustment. There is no ambiguity in the said provision. It is only cumbersome.
- THE NIGERIAN POLICEWe call for the reform of the Nigerian Police for it to discharge its constitutional responsibilities. It should be properly funded and equipped with well trained personnel.
- RESIDENCY AND INDIGENE PROVISIONSThere is a difference between a person who is an indigene and one that is ordinarily resident in a place. An indigene is a person who originate from a particular place – homeland. It is tied to ethnicity. The person who has its residence in a homeland other than his cannot enjoy equal right and recognition with an indigene. Indigene should be protected in their homeland. Dated at Warri this 18th day of June, 2012. Signed for and on behalf of the Committee ofThe Itsekiri Leaders of Thought
For and on behalf of the
Warri Study Group
____________________ _______________ E.O.EKPOKO, ESQ. TONY EDE