By Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence the process of reviewing upward the number of state constituencies by creating additional state constituencies across the country.
The resolution followed the unanimous adoption of an amendment to the prayer of a motion, titled, ‘’Need for the Independent National Electoral Commission to Review Upward the Number of State Constituencies in Oyo State,’’ sponsored by the Oyo State caucus of the House.
Moving the motion on behalf of the caucus, Hon. Ajibola Muraina noted that Section 112 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the INEC shall divide every state in the Federation into such number of state constituencies as is equal to three or four times the number of federal constituencies within the state.
He expressed concerns that since the inception of the present democratic dispensation on 29 May 1999, INEC has failed to review the number of state constituencies in Oyo State as prescribed by the Constitution.
He said the House is aware that the discharge of this constitutional duty by INEC is subject to the consequential approval of the National Assembly, hence, the process should be commenced and concluded before the statutory periods prescribed for the conduct of the next general election in Nigeria, which may hold in the first quarter of 2023.
He added that the failure or refusal of INEC to comply with the provisions of the Constitution deprives the people of Oyo State of equitable and fair representation in the State House of Assembly.
Shortly after moving the motion, one of the lawmakers suggested that INEC should extend it all the states and not only Oyo.
The amendment was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and it received the support of the lawmakers.
Adopting the motion as amended, the House mandated its Committee on Electoral Matters to ensure compliance and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.