In a significant development, the initiation of plans to establish three additional states in the South West of Nigeria has commenced.
This was set in motion with the formal presentation of a bill before the House of Representatives.
The bill, scheduled for presentation on Tuesday, is sponsored by Hon. Busayo Oluwole Oke.
Oke is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing the Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency of Osun State.
The proposed states captured in the bill are Oke-Ogun, Ijebu and Ife-Ijesa states, respectively.
Tagged: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”, the bill seeks 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.”
According to Oke, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Ife Ijesa State is to be made of 11 LGAs including 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 above mentioned bill to your office for further necessary legislative action to enable me to move same in our great Green Chamber, sir.”
The South-West geopolitical 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: North-Central, North-East, South-West, South-South and South-East.
Section 9 (1) of the Constitution states that the National Assembly 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).