A former member of the House of Representatives, Barr Sunday Marshall Katung, has submitted a proposal for the creation of Gurara State out of the present Kaduna State.
Katung, in a memo submitted to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, said the lacuna created by Sections 8 and 9 of the 1999 Constitution be amended to empower federal legislators to vote for the creation of new states.
He argued that the existing 36 states structure of Nigeria was a contraption of disproportionate entities.
“This arrangement belies any reference to equality between states in terms of size and power sharing. Nationalities such as the Southern Kaduna people of Kaduna State, with an estimated population of 5.1 million people comprising 67 ethnic groups and inhabiting a landmass of about 26,000km2, a landmass greater than those of Kano (a state in the same North West region as Kaduna, which has 20,131km2 landmass); Sokoto State (25,973km2); Jigawa State (23,154km2), among many others.
“Despite this imbalance, the procedure for state creation in the Constitution (Section 8) is herculean and Section 9 tightens the bolt against an amendment of the utopian Section 8, making it possible only under a dictatorial (military) system. Hence, since 1999 till date, regardless of pressing necessities, no new state has been created. This is likely to cause a social implosion resulting from marginalization and other forms of social injustices,” he argued.
Katung, who represented Zango Kataf/Jaba federal constituency between 2015-2019, added; “The voting majority standard prescribed by Section 9 which refers to Sections 48 and 49 is a clog, considering the disproportionate compositions of federal constituencies. Sections 9 & 49 naturally operate to arm a particular section of the country (bound by common interests) with unjust numerical strength to vote against proposals for state creation which it may perceive as a self-determination stride, a diminution of its power and strategic position, a function of a bloated, inflated population and size.”
According to the former lawmaker, an amendment of Section 8 should dictate that members who shall be required to vote in support of a request for state creation, need not be members representing the area demanding such state creation.