Confab approves 18 new states
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
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
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.