By Harris Emmanuel
The House of Representatives Member -Elect for Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency, Martins Esin has called for delineation of big federal constituencies.
He made the call in his contribution to discussions during the induction exercise organized for Senators – Elect and House of Representatives Members -Elect ahead of the inauguration of the 10th legislature.
Esin faulted the current national structure and attributing the imbalance to inaccurate census data.
He wondered why the country should rely on the 2006 census figures and a population of 140 million in the delineation of constituencies whereas there are claims that the country has a population of about 240 million people, representing about 58% difference.
He further decried the situation where his federal constituency has five Local Government Areas in the country ,while some States have eight Local Government Areas, noting that the imbalance places him in a disadvantage even before the proclamation of the House.
He , therefore urged the National Assembly Service Commission to ensure uniformity in constituency offices operated by members back home.
Esin attributed imbalance in the national structure to disputed census figures which have denied the nation development.
According to him, census figures are of such critical importance that manipulating them affects every other aspect of life in the nation, noting that proper planning cannot be done with inaccurate census figures.
“We must begin to accord seriousness to data in this country. And it’s very important we convince ourselves that our data are credible and as accurate as possible.
“As long as our critical data like census figures aren’t truthful, the resultant problems of structural imbalance, lopsidedness in the allocation of resources, infrastructures and opportunities will persist.
“This is the sad story of Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency, hence my appeal”, he said.
Esin maintained that for Nigeria to make progress, certain national developmental issues, including population census must be insulated from political influences and ethno religious sentiments
According to him, this will enable government formulate and implement policies on the basis of facts, describing accurate data as indispensable to holistic and sustainable development, averring that without it, development will remain elusive.
He appealed to the authorities to revisit the issue of delineation of federal constituencies with a view to creating another one out of the present Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency which he describes as comparatively too large to remain one federal constituency.