The Senate has given a hint about the process for creation of new states, saying Nigerians seeking new states must do so in accordance with the provisions of section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended.
It refuted report suggesting that it’s constitution amendment committee has proposed creation of 20 new states, even as it noted that those asking for the creation of the states should team up and meet the requirement of the constitution as stated in section 8.
The Red Chamber said its committee on constitution review has referred the requests for the creation of new states it received to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure compliance with section 8 of the constitution by conducting referendums in the areas the new states are being sought for.
There are requests for Itai State from Akwa Ibom, Katagum State from Bauchi, Okura State from Kogi East, Adada State from Enugu, Gurara State from Kaduna, Ijebu State from Ogun and Ibadan State from Oyo.
Other requests are Tiga State from Kano, Ghari State from Kano, Amana State from Adamawa, Gongola State from Adamawa, Mambilla State from Taraba, Savannah State from Borno, Okun state from Kogi; Etiti State from South East, Orashi State from Imo and Anambra states, Njaba state from Imo, Aba State from Abia, Anioma State from Delta, Torogbene state from Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta; Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara, while there is a request for a State status for the FCT.
But the Senate said all the requests must be supported by at least two-third majority of members representing the area demanding the creation of the new State in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the State Houses of Assembly in the areas.
Reacting on the issue of state creation, the Senate Spokesman, Basiru Ajibola said, “Our attention has been drawn to a media report that the Senate Committee of Review of 1999 Constitution has proposed the creation of additional 20 States.
“The report is a gross misrepresentation of the decision of the committee on the request for creation of more states. Far from recommending creation of any state, the Senate Committee, while acknowledging receipts of several Bills proposing creation of new states, decided that it is not in a position to recommend or proposed the creation of any state unless there is compliance with the provisions of section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic as amended”.
For ease of reference, Ajibola added: “Section 8 of the Constitution provides: An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new State shall only be passed if- (a) a request, supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in each of the following, namely – (i) the Senate and the House of Representatives, (ii) the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and (iii) the local government councils in respect of the area, is received by the National Assembly;
“(b) a proposal for the creation of the State is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the area where the demand for creation of the State originated;
“(c) the result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the States of the Federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly; and “(d) the proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.”
The Senate spokesman further said in a position to propose creation of any state as reported, “the committee decided to refer the requests received to Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure compliance with section 8 of the Constitution by conducting 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.”