Senate denies proposing creation of 20 new States

…Clarifies its position

Aminu Imam

The upper chamber of the National Assembly has debunked reports that the lawmakers have proposed the creation of 20 more States, saying that the Senate was “grossly” misrepresented.

The denial followed several media reports yesterday that the Senate has instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to conduct a referendum for the creation of the new States, saying it reached the decision to respect “the genuine desire of Nigerians”.

However, the Senate’s Spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, representing Osun-Central, in a statement issued yesterday, said the report is a misunderstanding of the decision reached by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.

According to the lawmaker, Section 8 of the Nigerian Constitution clearly stipulates the procedures for the creation of additional States.

Some of the States which the Senate purportedly proposed their creation are: ITAI State, from Akwa Ibom; State status for the FCT; Katagum State, (Bauchi); Okura State, (Kogi-East); Adada State, (Enugu); Gurara State, (Kaduna-South), and Ijebu State, from Ogun.

Others are Ibadan State from Oyo; Tiga State, (Kano); Ghari State, (Kano); Amana State, (Adamawa); Gongola State, (Adamawa); Mambilla State, (Taraba); Savannah State from Borno; Okun State, (Kogi); Etiti State from the South-East zone; Orashi State from Imo and Anambra, and Njaba from the present Imo.

The rest were said to be: Aba State, (Abia); Anioma State, (Delta); Torogbene and Oil River, (from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers), and Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa, and Zamfara.

Using the Constitution for ease of reference to back up its position,  the Upper Chamber said that by the position of the Constitution, the Senate is not in a position to propose the creation of a State.

It said: “The committee decided to refer the requests received to INEC, in order to ensure compliance with section 8 of the Constitution, by conducting a referendum in the areas if the requests supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly in the area”.

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