Oct 10, 2011 – Southeast governors yesterday gave a condition for backing the planned constitution amendment: an additional state in their region. They threatened to withdraw support for the exercise, if they are not given another state.
The Southeast has the least number of states – five – among the six geo-political zones.
To perfect their plan, the governors met in Enugu yesterday.
They resolved to present their report for discussion at the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting in Abuja tomorrow.
The governors said it was high time all geo-political zones in the country had equal number of states in the interest of equity, fairness and justice.
Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum Peter Obi of Anambra State told reporters that they met to articulate a common position and present their demands at the NGF meeting. Constitution amendment was the main agenda at the Enugu meeting.
Obi said if the Southeast’s request for additional state fails to receive priority attention, its five governors would back out of discussions on constitution amendment.
He said: “Basically today (yesterday), we discussed one issue, the issue of constitution amendment, especially as it concerns the creation of an additional state for the zone, to have the same number of states in all the zones of the country.
“We are not asking for a particular number of states. We are only calling for equality of states for all the zones and that is what we want.”
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha said: “If the Northwest zone could have seven states, the Southeast zone could as well have seven. In essence, the Southeast governors are calling for additional states.”
The Seventh National Assembly has kick started the process for constitution amendment.
The Senate and the House of Representatives has each constituted Constitution Review Committees.
The committees will collate the position of Nigerians on the amendments in addition to leading the process of amendment.
While Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu chairs the Senate Committee on constitution review, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha chairs the Reps’ committee.
Both of them are incidentally from the Southeast. (The Nation)