By Festus Ahon – Asaba
A Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Dr Akpor Mudiaga-Odje, Wednesday, said Nigeria should be fractured into more States beyond the present 36 state template.
Odje who was reacting to call by Northern leaders for a return to 12 States structure and resource control, said: “We need to allow the microscopic minorities in Nigeria to also have their states.
“Restrospecting on why there were creations of states in Nigeria, would reveal that same was done to meet with agitations for self-determination by the agitators.
“Indeed, state creation is a fundamental recognition of our diversity in both structure and composition of the Nigerian State. And as such, it’s a healthy and welcome development.
“Rather than ask for a return to the 12 state structure, Nigeria should in fact be fractured into more states beyond the present 36 state template.
“We are exponentially in support of 100 per cent resource control and support that agitation in full swing.
“However, our reactionary forces and imperialist opponents are hell-bent on sequestrating our resources from time immemorial.
“So we have a very tough hurdle ahead to actualize that agitation even though we remain undaunted and firmly resolute in that respect.
“For instance, the House of Representatives is made up of 360 members, the entire south-south states have only 55 members. whilst Kano alone has 24 members. And Lagos 20 members.
“Let us all as a Nigerians set in motion a legal process to provide a totally new well-negotiated constitution as done in the Lancaster Conference in 1957 / 1958 in London through which the best constitution ever ie the 1960 independence Constitution was enacted.
“Under Section 134 of that Constitution, the regions were granted fiscal autonomy with mineral producing regions having 50 per cent of royalties extending into the continental shelf.
“The Federal Government had only 44 items on its exclusive list, whilst the regions had 22 including the power to enact their own Constitution.
“Now in 1999 Constitution, the Federal Government alone has a whopping 68 items exclusively to it.This is indeed an axiomatic draconian Constitution, if not an endemic piece of legal caricature”.