The House of Assembly of Akwa Ibom State has announced that it is exploring a resolution to create new constituencies in order to improve the quality of parliamentary representation in the state.
According to a news release issued by Speaker Udeme Otong’s office on Wednesday, the motion put forth by Asuquo Nana Udo, who represents the Ikono State Constituency, during Tuesday’s plenary was in accordance with Order three, rule one of the Assembly’s Standing Order.
The Ikono politician claims that the proposal to establish new electoral districts in Akwa Ibom State, titled “The Need to Create Additional State Constituencies in Akwa Ibom State,” has been needed for more than three decades, ever since the state was established.
It was also mentioned in the motion that “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.”
According to Udoh, the CFRN’s Section 91 states that “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 used Katstina State, which was founded on the same day and year as Akwa Ibom State but has 34 State Constituency seats, as evidence that Akwa Ibom State deserves 31 State Constituency seats, citing Sections 112, 113, and 114 subsection 1 of the CFRN.
Since it is a constitutional issue and not within the legislative remit of the State Legislature, the Akwa Ibom State Caucus in the National Assembly should take up the matter, as stated by the member for Nsit Ubium State Constituency, Otobong Bob, who also doubles as the Deputy Leader of the 8th Assembly.
Speaker Udeme Otong directed Clerk NsikakAbasi Orok to inform INEC and other relevant government agencies of the House resolution.