Senate refutes claims of plans to create new states

Written by on August 9, 2021

The Senate has said there was no plan to create more states in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee of Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru made this known in a statement on Sunday.

The statement, titled ‘Senate Committee Did Not Propose Creation of 20 New States,’ was in reaction to reports that the Senate Committee on Constitution Review chaired by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has recommended the creation of additional states to the present 36 and Abuja.

Basiru noted that the onus was on the Independent National Electoral Commission to determine where a new state should be created.

The statement reads partly, ‘Far from recommending the creation of any state, the Senate committee, while acknowledging receipts of several bills proposing the 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, 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 from.

“(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.

“(D) The proposal is approved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.’

It further read, “In view of the above, the Senate committee is not in a position to propose the creation of any state as reported. Rather, the committee decided to refer the requests received to the Independent National Electoral Commission 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.

Source: PUNCH


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