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Southeast Not Well Represented In National Assembly – BNM

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The Igbo Biafra Nationalists Movements (BNM), has asserted that the Southeast region was underrepresented at the National Assembly considering the number of states in each region.

Mazi Uche Mefor who is the Convener, Igbo-Biafra Nationalists Movements, made this assertion on Saturday while speaking on the Southeast Marginalization on state creation.

According to Mazi Mefor, of the Igbo-Biafra Nationalists and the Indigenous People of Igbo Nation for self-determination, said: “North West – 7 states, North East – 6 states, North Central – 6 states, South West – 6 states, South South – 6 states South East – 5 states. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria regulates the allocation of Senators to each geopolitical zone in Nigeria. According to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), every state is granted three Senators in the National Assembly. Consequently, the allocation of Senators in Nigeria to each geopolitical zone is contingent upon the number of states inside that zone. According to the statistical information provided above, the distribution of Senators among Nigeria’s geopolitical zones is as follows:

“North West – 21 Senators (7 states x 3 Senators per state) North East – 18 Senators (6 states x 3 Senators per state) North Central – 18 Senators (6 states x 3 Senators per state) South West – 18 Senators (6 states x 3 Senators per state) South South – 18 Senators (6 states x 3 Senators per state) South East – 15 Senators (5 states x 3 Senators per state) FCT (also designated as North) – 1 Senator

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“Based on the above facts, the South-East geopolitical zone has the lowest number of states, resulting in the lowest number of Senators in the Nigerian National Assembly. The South-East region comprises five states and is represented by 15 Senators. By contrast, the remaining geopolitical zones possess a more significant number of states, resulting in a higher allocation of Senators (18 each).

“In this context, the South-East geopolitical zone is “losing” in terms of the number of Senators it has relative to the other geopolitical zones in Nigeria. This situation reflects the impact of the number of states within each zone on the allocation of Senators in the National Assembly. The geopolitical zones and the number of House of Representatives members allocated to each zone are as follows:

“North West – 92 members, North East – 43 members, North Central – 49 members, South West – 71 members, South South – 61 members, South East – 43 members, FCT (also designated as North) – 2 members. Based on the provided statistical data, it is evident that both the South-East and North-East regions have an equal representation in the House of Representatives, with only 43 members each. Furthermore, despite the North-East having 43 representatives, it still measures up with 18 senators, whether South-East remains constantly a disadvantage, being short of 3 senators and so being underrepresented.

“Just like in the Walls decision by the ICJ, Israel was under dual obligation(negative and positive) to refrain from impeding the Palestinians from exercising their rights to self-determination and to do everything possible to promote it Nigeria is also equally under obligation not to stop either physically or administratively or legally any part of her population from enjoying their rights to internal self-determination. The wilful and deliberate state-sponsored apartheid policy to restrict and confine the South-East to only 5 states, while other regions or zones have at least 6 states is a violation of that obligation under international law and even under the African Charter on Human and Peoples rights with reference to CAP 10 Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 as amended. For the South-Easterners, Nigeria is a neo-colonialist entity bent on holding the South-East down and impeding on her economic and political progress and development.

“Furthermore, the least allocation of revenue, least number of senators and house of representative members, least number of local government areas, under-representation in appointments in key sectors of the political and economic life of Nigeria is an official demotion of the South-East zone or region to a permanent minority status when compared with other zones. The direct consequence of this is that the South-Easterners, the Igbos who in reality one of largest ethnic groups in population are now second class citizens and permanent minorities with the rest of Nigeria. These actions are illegal and discriminatory and violates the principle of equal rights, equality of states and federal character provisions,” Mefor said.

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