Senate Rejects State Creation, Rotational Presidency

Senate President David Mark

Senate President David Mark

Two contentious political issues, state creation and rotational presidency, have been rejected by the Senate.

In its report on the review of the 1999 constitution submitted Wednesday, the Senate Committee on the Review of the Constitution disclosed that none of the 61 requests for state creation satisfied the provision for the creation of a new state in the constitution.

According to the committee, more of those requests coupled with the entire provision of section 8(1) which states: “An act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new state shall only be passed if: (a) a request, supported by at least two-third majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new state) in each of the following namely, (i) the Senate and the House of Representatives (ii) the House of Assembly in respect of the area and (iii) the local government councils in respect of the area, is received by the National Assembly; (b) a proposal for the creation of the state is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-third majority of the people of the area where the demand for the creation of the state originated; (c) the result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the states of the federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly; and (d) the proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.”

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The committee also rejected rotation of executive offices on the grounds that the constitution should not make Nigerian leadership subject to ethnic or regional considerations.

It added that the matter should be a matter of consideration among the various political parties.

On foreign accounts, the senate committee recommended that the prohibition of foreign accounts as contained in section 3 of Part 1 of the fifth schedule of the constitution should be maintained. “Making any alteration is most likely to be received with misgivings and outrage by Nigerians as it may portray the National Assembly as self serving,” it added.

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