The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly said it is considering a motion for the creation of additional constituencies to aid the effective representation of the people at the legislative level in the state.
In a statement by the press unit of the Speaker, Udeme Otong on Wednesday, the motion sponsored by the member representing Ikono State Constituency, Asuquo Nana Udo during plenary on Tuesday was under Order three (3) rule One (1) of the Standing Order of the Assembly.
According to the Ikono lawmaker, the motion entitled, “The Need to Create Additional State Constituencies in Akwa Ibom State,” is long overdue, to ensure the political advancement of the state since its creation more than thirty (30) years ago.
The motion further stated, “the creation of thirty-nine (39) new political wards across the three (3) Senatorial districts of the State by Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) has not only delimited our political wards but has also prepared us for national political expansion.”
Udoh added that in view of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN), Section 91, “the State Assemblies shall consist of three or four times the number of seats which that State has in the House of Representatives divided in a way to reflect, as far as possible nearly equal population: Provided that a House of Assembly of a State shall consist of not less than twenty-four (24) and not more than forty (40) members.”
He argued that the state deserves 31 State Constituencies by quoting the provisions of Sections 112, 113 and 114 subsection 1 of the CFRN which strengthens his view, referring to Katstina State which has 34 State Constituency seats, having been created the same day and year with Akwa Ibom State.
The member for Nsit Ubium State Constituency, Otobong Bob, who also doubles as the Deputy Leader of the 8th Assembly while contributing to the matter, noted that since it is a constitutional issue and not under the legislative purview of the State Legislature, the Akwa Ibom State Caucus in the National Assembly should take up the matter at that level.
The Speaker, Udeme Otong ordered the Clerk, Mrs NsikakAbasi Orok to communicate the House resolution to Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant Government Agencies.