From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Edda people of Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, have once again approached the Senate Committee on Constitution Review seeking name change for the council.
They said changing the council name to Edda LGA would enable them restore their identity.
A previous attempt was passed by the National Assembly but could not be accented by the President.
However, in a presentation to the senate subcommittee sitting in Enugu, the Edda Identity Project (EDIP), an organization of sons and daughters, especially professionals of the Edda clan, said the greatest honour anybody could do to their people was the name change.
A document signed by EDIP’s Chairman, Samuel Ndukwe and Secretary, Ikenna Emewu explained that Edda used to be part of the old Afikpo LGA of the old Imo and later Abia State until 1991 when the federal government under the military administration by executive military fiat carved out a part of the old Afikpo LGA and called it Afikpo South LGA, while the other part of the old Afikpo LGA was called Afikpo North LGA.
It noted that the Afikpo South LGA has a peculiarity of homogeneity as it is peopled by only Edda unlike many other LGAs in Nigeria, including the Afikpo North, that are made of several towns and clans of different people.
They said their people have in the past 29 years mounted substantial pressure using legislation and public awareness to solicit the name change.
“We have therefore collected 21,624 signatures from our sons and daughters all over the world and even some few Nigerians who are friends of Edda and are aware of our pathetic case to press it upon the Distinguished National Assembly that what we need most is this change of the name of our council to Edda LGA.
“As we bring our matter before you, we ask for your kindness to hear us out, consider our request, attend to our longing and give us this greatest gift anybody can give the people of Edda of 72 villages, 11 autonomous communities and 507,080 people – to change the name of our council to reflect our true identity as Edda LGA,” Emewu stated.