Senate denies proposing creation of 20 new states

The Senate has denied reports that the lawmakers proposed the creation of 20 more states, saying the upper chamber was “grossly” misrepresented.”

Senate spokesman Ajibola Basiru in a statement on Sunday said the report was a misunderstanding of the decision reached by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution.

“The report is a gross misrepresentation of the decision of the committee on the request for creation of more states,” the statement maintained.

“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.”

According to the lawmaker representing Osun Central, Section 8 of the Nigerian Constitution clearly stipulates the procedures for the creation of additional states.

“In view of the above, the Senate Committee is not in a position to propose creation of any state as reported,” he added.

“Rather 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.”

Several reports had suggested that the Senate told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a referendum for the creation of the new states.

The Senate purportedly reached the decision to respect “the genuine desire of Nigerians.”

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

Others are Ibadan State from Oyo;  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 the South East Zone; Orashi State from Imo and Anambra; Njaba from the present Imo.

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

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