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Constitutional review: S/East House Members push for creation of Etiti State

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Jonas Ezieke, Abuja

Five members of the House of Representatives representing five federal constituencies in the Southeast region have presented for passage into law by the House, a bill seeking the creation of Etiti State from the geo-political zone of Nigeria.

 

The sponsors of the bill are Hon Amobi Godwin Ogah (Abia, LP),Hon.Miriam O.Onuoha (Imo,APC),Hon Kama Nkemkama (Ebony,LP),Hon Clara Nnabuuife (Anambra,YPP) and Hon.Anayo Onwuegbu (Enugu,PDP).

 

The proposed legislation is titled: ” A Bill For An Act To Alter The Constitution Of The Federal Republic OF Nigeria 1999 To Provide for The Creation Of Etiti State Out Of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu And  Imo States; And For Related Matters”.

Leading the debate on the bill, the lead sponsor Hon Amobi Godwin Ogah told his colleagues in the House that today marks a significant moment in the nation’s legislative history as they gathered to deliberate on a very important constitutional amendment—the creation of Etiti State out of the existing states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo.

 

The proposed legislation when passed into law he said seeks to address a longstanding issue of regional parity and administrative efficiency within the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

 

It proposes an alteration to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to accommodate the creation of Etiti State, thereby increasing the number of states in the south east geopolitical zone to six.

 

The Abia born lawmaker further stated that the establishment of Etiti State is not just a matter of administrative convenience but a step towards ensuring balanced regional development and effective governance.

 

It responds to the aspirations of the people of a very important region to this country and aligns with the principles of equity and inclusivity enshrined in our democratic ideals.

 

Speaking further on the rationale for the creation of Etiti State out of five states, he said that current structure of the Southeast region with just five states—Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo—as against other regions of the country which have no fewer than six states, has been a subject of debate and advocacy for reconfiguration.

 

The creation of Etiti State he submitted is a proactive step towards aligning the region with the structural realities of its other five sister regions in the country.

 

The lawmaker insisted that is it to say that is a long overdue step in the right direction to foster equitable representation, enhance governance efficiency, and promote socio-economic development within the region.

 

He also argued that the Southeast, with its rich cultural heritage and strategic economic potential, deserves a governance framework that optimally serves its diverse communities.

 

He added that the creation of Etiti State will facilitate more targeted development initiatives, better resource allocation, and improved service delivery to the people.

 

Specifically, this Bill he pointed out proposes specific alterations to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as follows:The amendment of Section 3 (1) to increase the number of states from thirty-six to thirty-seven by inserting “Etiti” immediately after “Enugu”.

 

Consequential alterations in the First Schedule, Part I, which includes — Carving out Isuikwuato and Umunneochi LGAs from Abia; Orumba North and Orumba South LGAs from Anambra; Ivo and Ohaozara LGAs from Ebonyi; Aninri, Awgu and Oji River LGAs from Enugu; and Okigwe and Onuimo LGAs from Imo States to form the new Etiti State; and designation of Lokpanta as the capital city of Etiti State.

 

 

While urging members of the green chamber of the National Assembly to support the historic Bill, he appeal to them to remain guided by the imperative of fairness, efficiency, and progress.

 

According to him, the creation of Etiti State represents a unique opportunity to strengthen our federal structure, empower our communities, and foster national unity.

 

He said: “I urge all Honourable Members to support this Bill, which promises to reshape the socio-political landscape of the Southeast for the betterment of all.

 

 

“I therefore urge us all to thoughtfully consider and swiftly pass this important Constitution Alteration Bill.

 

“Let us seize this moment to make history and fulfil our mandate to serve the best interests of the Nigerian people”.

 

Consequently, the House presided over by the Speaker Rt Hon.Tajudeen Abbas passed the bill into second reading.

 

The House presiding officer also committed the bill to the House Special Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution for further legislative inputs.

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