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New states cannot be created before 2011- Ekweremadu

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By Inalegwu Shaibu

ABUJA – THE Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekeremadu has dismissed claims that the National Assembly will create new States before the 2011 general elections.

Senator Ekweremadu who is also the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review (JCCR) has also ruled out the possibilities of new states being created in the proposed constitutional review.

Senator Ekweremadu who spoke with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend said even though the constitutional process is on course, people should not be too expectant that new states will be created due to the difficult provisions of section 8 of the constitution.

He said, “We are all educated enough to be able to read our constitution. If you ever find time to read section 8 of the 1999 constitution you will see the difficulty in creating states.

“The mistake we are making is that we have forgotten that what we have now is democracy not military regime where the Armed Forces would sit one day and say they have announced some states and they will start functioning.

“Things don’t work like that in a democracy. States cannot be created in that manner. Creation of a state now is a completely different ball game and a complex matter and is more complex because the constitution did not make it clear the processes that will lead to state creation.

“So I get worried that people are calling for state creation without being in tune with the present realities. That is the problem we have so I hope that our colleagues who are pursuing state creation will take serious this section of the constitution is well understood.

“It is a complex matter since it involves the House of Assembly members, Federal lawmakers, ordinary Nigerians. So it is not something that we in the National Assembly will say we are creating states. Nigerian needs to understand the legal complexities that are involve in state creation.”

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