Confab approves 18 new states

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THE national conference has  approved the creation of 18 additional

states across the country, as a way of meeting the yearning and

aspirations of the people.
The conference also resolved that the office of the President of

Nigeria shall now rotate between the North and South and revolve among

the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Delegates also agreed that the office of the state governors shall be

rotated among the three senatorial districts of each state, while that

of the local government chairmen shall be rotated within the local

government areas.
The resolutions were arrived at during the plenary, while considering

reports of the committee on political restructuring and forms of

The delegates also said the six geopolitical zones should be enshrined

in the constitution of the country.
They rejected the proposal that the president should run for a single

term of six years and favoured the present arrangement of two terms of

four years.
It was also agreed that the president and his deputy should run on a

joint ticket, thereby rejecting the recommendation that the president

should pick his deputy among the members of the National Assembly

after he must have won.
The conference also supported the unicameral form of government. This

implies that there would still be the Senate and the House of

Though it was also agreed that the states were free to have their

constitutions, but the request to change the name of Adamawa State to

Gongola State was overwhelmingly rejected by the delegates.

The committee was mandated to primarily examine the extant structure

and forms of governments in the context of the peculiar circumstances

of Nigeria's diverse and multi-ethnic setting.
It was also expected to examine Nigeria's attendant challenges and

the need to lay a solid foundation for an all-inclusive and

cost-effective system of government which would serve the best

interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Where the president dies in office, incapacitated, impeached or where

he resigns, the conference agreed that the vice president shall

operate in acting capacity for a period of 90 days, during which an

election to the same office would be conducted.
The decision was taken to help each zone run the full course of the

constitutionally allowed tenure without undue disruption, while the

delegates also said when a president leaves under any of the

circumstances stated earlier, another president would be elected from

the same zone where the previous one came from.
The delegates also voted in favour of modified presidential form of

government as recommended by the committee, which they described as

home-made model of government that combines the attributes of

parliamentary and presidential systems.
The president elected under the new system shall exercise full

responsibility for his government and shall select ministers, not more

than 18, from the six geopolitical zones of the country.

On the creation of new states, delegates also unanimously agreed with

the recommendation for the creation of an additional state for the

South-East zone, to put it at par with other zones of the country,

this is aside the 18 more states proposed.
The proposed states are Aba, from the present Abia State, Katagum from

Bauchi State, Ijebu from Ogun State, Amana from former Sardauna

Province, Apa from Benue State, Anioma State from Delta State and

Savannah from Borno.
Others are Etiti from South-East, Njaba/Anim from Anambra and Imo

states, Gurara from Kaduna, Ghari from Kano State, Adada, New Oyo from

Oyo State, Orachi from Rivers State, Ogoja from Cross River State and

Kanji from Kebbi and Niger states.
It was agreed that the two states from both the South-South and

South-West would be determined later.
They rejected a motion that the number of states in Nigeria should not

be more than 55.
However, a delegate to the conference, Mr Femi Falana, condemned the

decision to create more states.
He said the action was at variance with the decisions and resolutions

earlier taken by the conference on the need by government to cut cost.