• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Senate receives request for additional 61 states

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The Senate committee on the amendment of the 1999 constitution on Wednesday said it received request for the creation of additional 61 states.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presented the 42-page comprehensive report of the committee to the upper chamber, disclosed that the highlights of the memoranda received from Nigerians included devolution of powers; recognition of six geo-political zones; local governments; fiscal federalism and immunity clause.

Meanwhile, the Senate has postponed further debate on the amendment of the 1999 constitution till when it resumes for third legislative year on June 16 to allow the federal lawmakers consult with their constituents.

Ekweremadu after listing the proposed states said, “In all, none of the request for state creation at the close of receipt of memoranda satisfied the requirement of Section 8 (1)(a)(i-iii) to justify a recommendation for the next step in Section(1)(b) namely: directing the INEC to conduct a referendum”.

On state police, the committee according to Ekweremadu, recommended that “the preferred approach at this time is to critically look at the current federal police system with a view to sanitising and strengthening it”.

On special status for Lagos, the committee recommends that it “appreciates the peculiar needs and challenges of Lagos, it is our considered opinion that such special status should be a matter of political decision which should be kept out of the constitution”.

On the committee’s recommendation on rotation of executive offices, the deputy speaker said, “We rejected this proposal on the grounds that the constitution should not make Nigerian leadership subject to ethnic or regional consideration. This should be a matter of consideration amongst the various political parties”.