South West wants zones as fed­er­at­ing units

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Nu­rud­deen M. Ab­dal­lah

South West said the six geo- po­lit­i­cal zones in the coun­try should re­place the 36 states as the fed­er­at­ing units.

South West del­e­gates to the Na­tional Con­fer­ence said this dur­ing the meet­ing of the com­mit­tee on po­lit­i­cal re­struc­tur­ing and forms of govern­ment yes­ter­day.

But the South West’s po­si­tion was re­jected by all the del­e­gates from the other five geo-po­lit­i­cal zones serv­ing on the com­mit­tee.

Chief Femi Okurounmu, Chief Ba­sorun Seinde Arog­bofa, Pas­tor Tunde Bakare, Mr Yinka Odu­makin all pas­sion­ately ex­plained why the zones should re­place states as fed­er­at­ing units but other del­e­gates re­jected, ar­gu­ing that it is not prac­ti­ca­ble.

The South West del­e­gates said as a cost-re­duc­ing mea­sure of gov­er­nance, the coun­try should main­tain two fed­er­at­ing units of the federal govern­ment and the six geo-po­lit­i­cal zones.

Chief Femi Okurounmu said the states should cease to func­tion as the fed­er­at­ing units, and they be re­placed by the zones.

The six zones are South West, South East, South South, North West, North East and North Cen­tral.

They ar­gued that the zones should there­after cre­ate as many states as they fit they can man­age. They also said the zones should have their sep­a­rate con­sti­tu­tions and elec­toral bod­ies.

They also said that the zones should also de­ter­mine the num­ber of lo­cal gov­ern­ments they want.

But other del­e­gates said it is not fea­si­ble. Se­na­tor Ahmed Aruwa said South West can go for that ar­range­ment be­cause “they speak one lan­guage,” adding that it is not pos­si­ble with zones such as North West and North Cen­tral with too many eth­nic na­tion­al­i­ties and lan­guages.

For­mer Gov­er­nors of Ebonyi and Rivers Sam Egwu and Peter Odili from South East and South South said the states should form the fed­er­at­ing unit not zones.

Gen­eral Jonathan Tem­long and Am­bas­sador Fidelis Tap­gun from North Cen­tral said sub­sum­ing states un­der zones, would fur­ther lead to the marginal­i­sion of the mi­nori­ties which states cre­ation seeks to lib­er­ate.

Even when Bakare said the zones can be man­aged through e-gov­er­nance, other del­e­gates coun­tered say­ing that is not pos­si­ble.

Other del­e­gates also said that in­stead of sub­sum­ing the states un­der zones as can­vassed by the South West, states should be cre­ated where ag­i­ta­tions are gen­uine and nec­es­sary.

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