Several recent reports that had claimed the Nigerian The Senate had given it’s nod to the creation of not less than 20 states from the existing Six geopolitical zones in the country, has been dismissed by the highest lawaking body in the country, as misleading and a misinterpretation of what actually transpired between the Senate and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The reports had indicated that the Senate directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a referendum for the creation of 20 new states; saying that decision of the upper chamber was purportedly taken to respect “the genuine desire of Nigerians”
Amongst the new states which the Senate purportedly proposed for creation are: ITAI State from Akwa Ibom;"none" KATAGUM State from Bauchi;} OKURA State from Kogi East; ADADA State from Enugu;- GURARA State from Kaduna South and IJEBU State from Ogun.
Others on the list are Etiti State from the South East Zone; Orashi State from Imo and Anambra states; Njaba from the present Imo State or the excision of Aba State from Abia State; Anioma State from Delta State; Torogbene and Oil River States, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states; and Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara states respectively.
However, the Senate in a swift response, has debunked reports that the lawmakers have proposed the creation of 20 more states, saying the upper chamber was “grossly” misrepresented.”
Senate Spokesperson and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, representing Osun Central Senatorial zone then issued a substantive release which stated the Senate position clearly.
According to him: ‘The Senate Committee did not propose the creation of 20 new states,’ read the statement.
Bashiru, who called the report a “gross misrepresentation” of the Senate Committee’s decision on the request for more states, said the Senate would only approve the creation of any if section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, was followed.
“Our attention has been drawn to a media report that the Senate Committee of Review of the 1999 Constitution has proposed the creation of additional 20 States.
“For the sake of clarity, Section 8 of the Constitution states: Only if an Act of the National Assembly is passed for the purpose of forming a new state:
(a) in each of the following, a request supported by a two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State), namely –
(ii) in the case of the area, the House of Assembly, and
(iii) in the case of the area, the local government councils, The National Assembly receives it;
(b) a proposal for the establishment of the State is then approved by a referendum of at least two-thirds of the people in the area where the demand for the establishment of the State originated;
(c) the referendum results are then approved by a simple majority of all States of the Federation, with a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly supporting them; and
(d) a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly approves the proposal.
“In light of the foregoing, the Senate Committee is unable to recommend the creation of any state as reported.
Rather, the committee decided to refer the requests to the Independent National Electoral Commission in order to ensure compliance with section 8 of the Constitution by holding a referendum in the areas if the requests were supported by a two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in the Senate, House of Representatives, and House of Assemblies.
“The above clarifications are imperative to set the record straight,” the statement read