Okun to Leave Kogi as New Bill Proposes Establishment of Three Additional States

by Ohepo Ohepo

Bill Proposes Creation of Three New States in South-West Nigeria

A new legislative proposal aiming to create three additional states within the South-West region of Nigeria has been introduced for consideration in the House of Representatives. The bill, championed by Oluwole Oke, the representative for Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency in Osun State, seeks to establish Oke-Ogun, Ijebu, and Ife-Ijesa states.

Details of the Proposed Legislation

Titled “A Bill for an Act to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”, the proposal suggests amending the First Schedule, Part I of the Constitution to facilitate the introduction of new states and a reduction in the number of local government areas.

Proposed State Structures

  • Oke-Ogun State: Envisioned with Iseyin as its capital, it would encompass 12 local government areas including Olorunsogo, Irepo, Oorerelope, among others.
  • Ijebu State: Proposed with Ijebu Ode as the capital city, covering areas such as Ijebu East, Ijebu North-East, and others.
  • Ife Ijesa State: Slated to be formed from 11 LGAs including Ife Central, Ife East, Ilesa East, and more.

In a communication with the Clerk of the House, dated February 6, 2024, Oke expressed his intentions to move the bill in the House for further legislative action.

Impact on the South-West Region

Currently comprising six states, the South-West’s addition of three more states would surpass the North-West’s count, making it the zone with the highest number of states in Nigeria. This move is contingent on overcoming legislative hurdles as outlined in Section 9 (1) of the Constitution, which requires support from two-thirds of the National Assembly members and at least 24 state Houses of Assembly.

Constitutional Amendment Process

The National Assembly is already in the midst of amending the constitution, with the 10th Assembly prioritizing this agenda. The Constitutional Review Committee, set to be inaugurated on February 26, 2023, will play a pivotal role in this process.

Historical Context

Prior demands for regional adjustments include a 2020 memorandum by Kwara, Kogi Yorùbá for a merger with the South-West and calls from the Itsekiri people for the creation of Warri State to address marginalisation concerns.

This bill represents a significant step towards redefining the geopolitical landscape of Nigeria, potentially addressing long-standing issues of regional representation and governance.

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