“We’ll have to give it a try” – Deputy Senate president speaks on creation of new states

by Adeniyi Abdul

Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu has given some insight on how new states can be created in the country.

The Senate had last month received 56 requests for creation of new states and Ekweremadu who is, in addition to being the deputy president of the Senate, chairman of the upper chamber’s Constitutional Review Committees, has spoken on the process the creation would have to undergo.

“If Nigerians agree that there is need for more states and that there are injustices that needed to be addressed in area of state creation, and they believe that the imbalances need to be adjusted in all parts of the country where there is dominance against the other, we must address it,” he said. “So if Nigerians agree in that regard, I am sure we can build consensus around it and go ahead to create the states. I think it is something we are going to give a trial because there are valid requests there that need to be addressed.”

He also spoke on the creation of state police, saying the position of the Northern Governors’ forum was contrary to that of the larger Governors’ forum.

The Northern Governors in a communique, signed by Chairman of the forum and governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu stated that the governors would prefer to have the constitution amended to allow the governors to control the police in their various states.

“The Forum is not in support of creation of state police,” the statement read.

“It however resolved to prevail on the Federal Government to embark on police reform that will assist the states in control and management of police affairs, and sound philosophy of modern policing by amending the provision of Section 215,” the northern governors declared in a communiqué read by Aliyu after the meeting.

Ekweremadu reacted to this, saying “What the northern governors said contradicts the presentation by Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State at Asaba. He made a very strong case for state police, and it also contradicts Prof. Isawa Elaigwu, a northerner, who also presented a keynote address and suggested a five-year single term.”

“He is a northerner; so, to me, it is the beauty of democracy,” Ekweremadu continued. “They will have their say but majority will have their way. We will throw it open to all Nigerians to dialogue and discussions will continue. I am sure that by the time all the merits of the issue of state police are put forward and when all fears are addressed, maybe they can change their mind on it.”

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