By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—Igbo National council, INC, and South East Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, have kicked against the amendment of Section 299 of the constitution which seeks to create the office of a mayor and deputy mayor for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, and increase the number of states in the North Central zone to seven.
This formed part of a seven-paragraph communique issued at the end of their meeting in Owerri.
The communique signed by the INC National President, Mr. Chilos Godsent, read: “The conference noted with dismay, the indirect upgrading of FCT, Abuja, to a state status.
“By virtue of this development, the two positions will be contested for as in the case of governor and deputy governor, in an election conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission.”
The groups argued that if the proposed amendment sailed through, it would mean an indirect creation of additional state for the North Central Zone.
“If this is allowed to sail through, North Central Zone would have had seven states like North West Zone, as against five states in the South East Zone that has the largest actual human population in Nigeria.”
While appealing to members of the National Assembly to immediately delete the proposed section, the groups equally urged the lawmakers to create additional two states for the South East zone to address some of the palpable imbalance orchestrated to further the marginalisation of the zone.
The groups also called for the amendment of the sections that had to do with local government administration ,with a view to giving it fiscal autonomy.