Bill to create new state in south-east passes second reading at house of reps

Reps

A bill seeking to create a new state in the south-east geopolitical zone has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

The proposed legislation, which is co-sponsored by three lawmakers from the region — Amobi Ogah (Abia), Miriam Onuoha (Imo), Kama Nkemkama (Ebonyi), Chinwe Nnabuife (Anambra), and Anayo Onwuegbu (Enugu) — scaled a second reading during plenary on Thursday.

The lawmakers are proposing to alter the 1999 Constitution to create a new state from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo.

The new state will be known as Etiti, with Lokpanta as its capital.

The state will have 11 LGAs: Aninri, Awgu, Isuikwuato, Ivo, Oji-River, Ohaozara, Okigwe, Onuimo, Orumba north, Orumba south, and Umu-Nneochi.

In his legislative brief, Ogah said the bill seeks to address a “longstanding” issue of regional parity and administrative efficiency within the south-east.

 “The establishment of Etiti state is not just a matter of administrative convenience but a step towards ensuring balanced regional development and effective governance,” Ogah said.

It responds to the aspirations of the people of a very important region to this country and aligns with the principles of equity and inclusivity enshrined in our democratic ideals.

“Suffice it to say that it is a long overdue step in the right direction to foster equitable representation, enhance governance efficiency, and promote socio-economic development within the region.”

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The bill was voted for when it was put to a voice vote by Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house.

The bill was read for the first time on July 2.

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