A bill seeking the creation of three additional states in the South-West has been submitted for presentation in the House of Representatives.
Sponsored by the lawmaker representing Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency, Osun State, Oluwole Oke, the proposed law is seeking the creation of Oke-Ogun, Ijebu and Ife-Ijesa states.
The proposed legislation is titled “A Bill for an Act to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”.
It seeks an amendment to the First Schedule, Part I of the Constitution to read, “The First Schedule, Part I of the Constitution is amended by introducing new states and reducing the number of local government areas.”
In the draft bill, Oke-Ogun State with Iseyin as the proposed capital city would be made up of 12 local government areas, including Olorunsogo, Irepo, Oorerelope, Ogbomosho North, Ogbomosho South, Saki-East, Saki-West, Atisbo, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Kajola and Iseyin.
On the other hand, Ijebu State, when created, will comprise Ijebu East, Ijebu North-East, Ijebu Ode, Ikenne, Odogbolu, Ogun Waterside, Remo North and Sagamu LGAs. The proposed capital city for Ijebu State is Ijebu Ode.
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According to Oke, who chairs the House Committee on Judiciary, Ife Ijesa State is to be made of 11 LGAs made up of Atakunmosa East, Atakunmosa West, Boluwaduro, Ife Central, Ife East, Ife North, Ife South, Ilesa East, Ilesa West, Oboku and Oriade.
In a letter dated February 6, 2024, and addressed to the Clerk of the House, Oke wrote: “I wish to forward the abovementioned bill to your office for further necessary legislative action to enable me to move same in our great Green Chamber, sir.”
The South-West geo-political zone is currently made up of six federating states, which are Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states.
If Oke’s bill scales legislative hurdles, the region would surpass the North-West, which currently has seven states, the highest among the other zones of North-Central, North-East, South-West, South-South-South and South-East.
Section 9 (1) of the Constitution states that the National Assembly can only pass an Act to amend the Constitution when its proposal is supported by two-thirds majority of all the members of each chamber (72 senators and 240 House of Representatives members) and approved by the resolution of at least two-thirds of the state Houses of Assembly (24 states).
Currently, the National Assembly is in the process of amending the constitution. A key component of the 10th Assembly’s Legislative Agenda unveiled by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, in November 2023 is constitution amendment. The Constitutional Review Committee, chaired by Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, is slated for inauguration on February 26, 2023.