South West wants zones as federating units
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.