The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advocated for the creation of new states, as part of demands in the ongoing constitution amendment
The General Secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, made this recommendation to the National Assembly during a public hearing organise for the review of the constitution.
Daramola, who submitted the proposal at the public hearing which held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Thursday, stated that the creation of the new states is necessary to ensure inclusion and a sense of belonging to all parts of the country.
In the proposal, CAN advocated for the creation of the southern Kaduna state; Adada from present Enugu state, Cross River north state, Okun state from the present Kogi State; Okigwe state from the present Imo State and Oke Ogun state from the present Oyo State.
With about 371 ethnic groups in Nigeria, the country is divided into 36 states. Creation of states began in 1967 during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon. He created the first 12 states. However, the last creation of state occurred during the military regime of late Gen. Sani Abacha, on 1st October, 1996.
Speaking further, Daramola also urged the national assembly to remove the immunity clause from the constitution, in order to make all Nigerians “equal before the law.” According to him, some politicians allegedly take advantage of the immunity given to them to perpetrate corruption, and other criminal acts.
The general secretary of CAN in his presentation also called for the constitutional recognition for traditional rulers and religious leaders, by strengthening their cultural and socio-religious leadership responsibilities.
Other recommendations made by CAN includes: gender equality; women empowerment through education and inheritance; equal opportunities in all social-political affairs; 18 years as the age of maturity and consent for marriage; federal structure and power devolution — confederation of independent regions or federation of states or regions; devolution and decentralisation of power and governance system through formal introduction of geo-political zones and regions, with clearly assigned roles.