Toba Owojaiye reporting
A bill advocating for the establishment of three additional states in the South-West region has emerged, slated for introduction in the House of Representatives. Championed by Oluwole Oke, the representative of Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency in Osun State, the proposed legislation aims to carve out Oke-Ogun, Ijebu, and Ife-Ijesa states from existing territories.
Titled “A Bill for an Act to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”, the legislation targets a modification of the First Schedule, Part I of the Constitution, specifically focusing on the introduction of new states and a reduction in the number of local government areas.
Outlined within the bill, Oke-Ogun State, with Iseyin earmarked as its capital, would encompass 12 local government areas, including Olorunsogo, Irepo, and Ogbomosho North. Meanwhile, Ijebu State, with Ijebu Ode as its proposed capital, would comprise a conglomerate of LGAs such as Ijebu East and Sagamu.
Ife-Ijesa State, envisioned by Oke, would encompass 11 LGAs including Ife Central and Ilesa East, with the proposed capital yet to be specified. Oke formally submitted the bill to the House Clerk on February 6, 2024, expressing his desire for swift legislative action.
The South-West region presently houses six states, namely Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, and Ekiti. If Oke’s bill successfully navigates legislative channels, the South-West would exceed the North-West’s current tally of seven states.
However, Truth Live News gathered that the path to constitutional amendment demands significant support. Section 9 (1) of the Constitution necessitates a two-thirds majority approval from both chambers of the National Assembly and at least two-thirds of state Houses of Assembly, amounting to 72 senators, 240 House of Representatives members, and 24 states respectively.
As the National Assembly undertakes constitutional revisions, spearheaded by the Constitutional Review Committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, the fate of Oke’s proposal remains contingent upon garnering requisite political backing amid broader legislative initiatives.
It is worthy of note that only the military administrations have successfully created states because of the complex nature and requirement of the constitution.