President Goodluck Jonathan
By Mohammed Aminu
The demand for the creation of five states in the North West geopolitical zone, scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions and local government autonomy, were among the key submissions made by various groups at the Senate Public Hearing on Constitution Review in Sokoto.
The states being canvassed for were: Tigari and Tiga from Kano state, Hadeija from Jigawa state, Gurara and New Kaduna from Kaduna state.
The various groups argued that they have a population of over three million people and as such should be granted a new state.
However, the Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF), in a presentation made by the former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, said the ACF did not oppose derivation that rewards efforts and compensate environmental degradation, adding that what is disagreeable was the inclusion of proceeds from offshore exploration in the calculation for derivation.
According to him, there is no need for constitutional recognition of the geopolitical zones, adding that all the nation needs is to make the federating units more economically viable.
On the role of traditional institutions in the constitution, he averred that it is the view of the ACF that the status quo be maintained provided that traditional rulers are insulated from political influence and the security of their tenure is guaranteed.
He noted that the joint account is one instrument state governments use to dominate the local government councils and therefore the Forum advocated for the scrapping of joint account and State Electoral Commission.