News

July 11, 2024

Bill to create Etiti state out of South East scales second reading at Reps

SAMOA Agreement

By Gift ChapiOdekima, Abuja

The House of Representatives has passed for a second reading, a bill seeking the creation of Etiti State out of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states from the Southeast geopolitical zone.

The piece of legislation which scaled through the debate stage at plenary on Thursday is titled; “Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for the Creation Of Etiti State out of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States and for Related Matters (HB. 1525).

Sponsored by Hon. Amobi Godwin Ogah (Abia), Hon. Miriam Odinaka Onuoha (Imo), Hon. Kama Nkemkama (Ebonyi) Hon. Princess Chinwe Nnabuife (Anambra) and Hon. Anayo Onwuegbu (Enugu), the bill seeks to address a longstanding issue of regional parity and administrative efficiency within the Southeast geopolitical zone.

It proposes an alteration to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to accommodate the creation of Etiti State, thereby increasing the number of states in the Southeast geopolitical zone from five to six.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Hon. Ogah (LP, Abia) said the establishment of Etiti State was not just a matter of administrative convenience but a step towards ensuring balanced regional development and effective governance.

The lawmaker said it responded to the aspirations of the people of a very important region to the country and aligned with the principles of equity and inclusivity enshrined in the country’s democratic ideals.

“Mr Speaker, distinguished colleagues, it is not news that the current structure of the Southeast region with just five states—Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo—as against other regions of the country which have no fewer than six states, has been a subject of debate and advocacy for reconfiguration.

“The creation of Etiti State is a proactive step towards aligning the region with the structural realities of its other 5 sister regions in the country. Suffice it to say that is a long overdue step in the right direction to foster equitable representation, enhance governance efficiency, and promote socio-economic development within the region.

“Let us bear in mind that the Southeast, with its rich cultural heritage and strategic economic potential, deserves a governance framework that optimally serves its diverse communities.

“The creation of Etiti State will facilitate more targeted development initiatives, better resource allocation, and improved service delivery to the people. As we deliberate on this historic Bill, let us remain guided by the imperative of fairness, efficiency, and progress. The creation of Etiti State represents a unique opportunity to strengthen our federal structure, empower our communities, and foster national unity.

“I urge all Honourable Members to support this Bill, which promises to reshape the socio-political landscape of the Southeast for the betterment of all. Mr Speaker, Distinguished Colleagues, I therefore urge us all to thoughtfully consider and swiftly pass this important Constitution Alteration Bill. Let us seize this moment to make history and fulfil our mandate to serve the best interests of the Nigerian people,” he maintained.