Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Ovie Omo-Agege, has said state creation is possible, if its proponents lobby stakeholders from all the country’s geo-political zones.
Omo-Agege spoke on Thursday in Abuja when he hosted a delegation from Katagum, Missau and Jama’are Emirates in Bauchi State.
Led by a former Head of Service of the Federation and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, the delegation called for the creation of Katagum State from the present Bauchi State.
Speaking after he received the memorandum of the group, Omo-Agege, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, said the National Assembly only has the powers to amend the Constitution and not to overhaul it.
He said: “We have a lot of positions taken by various interests to the effect that the Constitution review is not necessary and that what they require is a complete rewrite of the Nigerian Constitution.
“I am glad that we have, seated before us here today in this delegation, people who are very well read, lettered with sound knowledge of the Constitution that the power granted to us as a National Assembly, precisely under Section 9 of the Constitution, is a power to amend provisions of the Constitution and not to rewrite the Constitution.
“Irrespective of my personal views, the views of members of this committee, you will need to do a lot of lobbying.
“No matter what we think, as members of this committee, about the appropriateness and justness of your cause, I want to plead with you to reach out to our colleagues from all of the geopolitical zones because not one state or geopolitical zone can give you a state.
“But it is about lobbying. If you do this, there is no reason why you should not be able to pull this through.
“We are working on a data bank. And it has a lot of materials. It includes the confab report of 2014 and the report of the Nasir El-Rufai’s Committee of 2018. In addition to that, we also have other materials that have come to us by way of Bills.”
Members of the Steering Committee who joined Omo-Agege in receiving the guests included Senate Leader Abdullahi Yahaya; Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe and Minority Whip Phillip Aduda.
Ahmed said the call for the creation of Katagum State dated back to the 1980s.
He added that the Second Senate in 1981 and the 2014 National Conference approved the creation of the state.