The Senate Constitution Review Committee has received a request for the creation of Bori State from the Bori State Movement (BSM), with a promise to send it to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for possible referendum.
Chairman, of the Committee and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who disclosed this in Abuja, while receiving a delegation of BSM, led by second republic Senator, Dr. Cyrus Nunieh, assured that new states can still be created provided such requests fulfill the provisions set out in Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution.
He said; “Having received your request, be assured that we are going to convene a full meeting of the Constitution Review Committee in the Senate to have a look at it and then, get our technical team to weigh it in line with the provisions of the Constitution”. Adding, “we want to see a state or states created under a democratic dispensation”.
Plans, he said were in top gear to constitute the Conference Committee that would harmonize the position of the Senate and the House of Representatives into a single document that will be tabled before the two houses, pursuance to achieving two-third votes before forwarding to the State Houses of Assembly for concurrence, as provided in the Constitution.
Earlier in his remarks, Senator Nunieh appealed to the Senate to assist create Bori State in order to give the people in Rivers South East senatorial district a sense of belonging, with the assurance that the new state would bring lasting peace in the area.
He recalled that those who agitated for new states, including Ekiti, Ebonyi, and Gombe, at the Constitution conference in 1996 were granted their wishes, leaving out the Ogoni people and their neighbours.
“Many that were recommended alongside Ogoni East Rivers,Nike Gombe, Zamfara, Ekiti, Ebonyi are now states. So, my colleagues in the Senate lobbied me to support them and I did. When my own came, they also supported me. The drama over why Ogoni East Rivers was not created is still a mystery.
Senator Nunieh disclosed that Bori State comprises of Khana, Gokana, Tai, Eleme, Opobo/Nkoro, Oyigbo and Andoni local government areas, adding that the state if created, would be economically viable as the area is blessed with human and material resources relatively untapped.
In his speech, the facilitator and Senator representing Rivers South-East in the National Assembly, Magnus Abe disclosed that, but for the support of Governor Chibuike Amaechi the district would have remained in a state of severe neglect in infrastructure.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and member, Senate Constitution review committee explained that with a fertile land, sound human capital base, vast mineral resources and sea ports the area was viable to stand as a state.
He praised Senator Nunieh for his resilience in the quest for a Bori State assuring of continuous support and urged the Senate Committee to work towards actualizing the request by his constituents.###