The number of ethnic groups agitating for the creation of new states increased on Friday as Southern Plateau indigenes resolved to separate from Plateau State and form a new state to be called Lowland.
This was contained in a statement by the National Chairman of the Movement for the Creation of Lowland State, Nanyah Daman. The chairman said the new state should be created from the present Plateau and Bauchi States, adding that they meet the requirement as stipulated in the Nigerian constitution.
“The movement met the requirements of Section 8(1)(a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution and thus called on the Committee for the Review of the 1999 Constitution to do its part of the job”, he said.
Mr. Rowland showered accolades on the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution for revisiting the “issues agitating for states creation, but is willing to relax the cumbersomeness of the near-impossible process by amending Section 8(1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution”.
The section reads: “An act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new state shall only be passed if a request supported by at least ⅔ majority of members representing the area demanding the creation of a new state in each of the following namely the Senate, and the House of Representatives, House of Assembly in respect of the area, and the Local Government Council in respect of the area, is received by the National Assembly”.
Mr. Rowland suggested that the next population census should also ascertain the actual population of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria.
“The next (2016) national population census form must have information on religious inclination to determine which religion is really in the majority in Nigeria”, said Mr. Rowland.
Indigenes of Southern Plateau State have alleged marginalization by other parts of the state.
The association also decried the tight grip on power by the older generation, who they alleged stay at the helm of affairs for an inordinate period thereby sidelining the youth from the administration of the state.
The group asked the “National Assembly and the National Conference to provide in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria a proviso that no one more than 55 years should contest for the governorship of a state and no one above 60 years should vie for the position of the President, to enable Nigerian youths have a taste of leadership”.