Former Head of State, President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB, has insisted that Nigeria does not need new states.
Babangida, who turns 80 today, told Vanguard in an interview in his Hilltop Mansion in Minna, Niger State, emphatically said No to the creation of new states.
His words: “The answer is capital No. We cannot continue to agitate for states because we may end up having a house as a state if the quest does not stop.
“Where we are today as a country has given everyone some sense of belonging since each Nigerian belongs to a particular state he can call his or hers. It is also good that no matter how things are, each Nigerian should be proud of their state, work for them and ensure that they succeed.
“We created Akwa Ibom and Katsina in 1987 even though the agitation for Akwa Ibom State started as far back as 1938.
“When we came on board, there were records of agitations for new states and we took a critical look at them and we set parameters for them largely in terms of viability, history and so on and we decided that Akwa Ibom should be carved out of Cross River State.
On Unity, IBB opined: “We have to instill into every Nigerian the spirit of unity. We fought a war because we wanted to remain a united country. During that war, no fewer than one million people were killed on both sides; a lot of people were wounded on both sides.
“So it is imperative for all Nigerians to live in peace and ensure that the country continues to remain one united and prosperous nation. If Nigeria is broken now, the people who fought and died to keep Nigeria one, would have suffered in vain.
“The best way to reward those who died is to keep the country united and in peace. That is why it is necessary for the inculcation of the ideals of our founding fathers into the minds of Nigerians especially the young ones through education, beliefs, history and education.