The people of Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State have called on the Federal Government to give them their own state, Gurara, with its capital to be in Kafanchan.
They made this call during a town hall meeting held in Kaduna, the state capital while supporting the call also for Nigeria’s restructuring.
According to them, considering their population of over three million people, they are fit to be carved out for autonomy.
In his address at the meeting, a former Commissioner for Economic Planning in the state, Mr Timothy Gandu, said some people or ethnic groups in the country do not have the population and land mass compared to that of southern Kaduna before states were created for them.
The former commissioner questioned the criteria used in the creation of local governments, with large landmark and human population having less local councils, while smaller states with less population were given more local governments.
He added, “So, who wants to tell me that Nigeria should not be restructured? Nigeria must be restructured because the political and economic imbalance across the country is alarming.
“The unity of Nigeria is negotiable because there is no justice and equity. We from southern Kaduna are not northerners, we are middle-belters. And on restructuring we stand.
“The Hausa and Fulani in Southern Kaduna are our brothers, but if we quarrel and fight, they should not run to Niger Republic, Mali or Chad to import Fulani to attack us. If we are brothers, we must stay together and resolve our differences rather than to run away to bring strangers to attack us.”
The Deputy-Governor of the state, Mr. Bala Bantex, however, asked his kinsmen to forget about state creation and focus attention on good governance.
Bantex, who is also from southern Kaduna, blamed traditional rulers and retired generals from the area for misusing the opportunity.
He accused them of insisting that Jaji village, along Zaria highway must be part of the new Gurara State, which the then Head of State, late General Sani Abacha did not grant them.
“Let us not be like South and North Sudan where one agitated for and got a nation, but since then no peace in the area. You should not be enemies to yourself because of this idea of we versus them,” he added.
The persistent agitation for the creation of an additional state for the people of southern Kaduna has been growing over the years, with the people believing that they have what it takes to get it.
Perhaps, the major opposition to this demand is whether such agitation will get the support of the National Assembly, which has the constitution to attend to matters of state creation.