Ken Nnamani, former senate president, says the defeat of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term bid in 2006 hindered the creation of a sixth state in the south-east.
Out of the six geopolitical zones that make up Nigeria, the south-east is the only zone that has five states: Imo, Anambra, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi.
North-west consists of seven states while north-east, north-central, south-west and south-south have six states each.
In his newly released book, ‘Standing Strong: Legislative Reforms, Third Term and Other Issues of the 5th Senate’, Nnamani said the proposal to create the sixth state in the south-east was “thrown out along with the third term proposal”.
He said if not for the need to truncate Obasanjo’s bid, the proposal would have fostered a “better geopolitical balance”.
Nnamani was the president of the Nigerian senate from April 2005 to May 2007.
The former senate president said the institutionalisation of rotational presidency was among the other “casualties” of the failed third term bid.
“The defeat of the third term project left several casualties in its wake. Among these were many of the people who stuck out their neck for and against the proposal,” he wrote.
“The excellent proposals in the amendment bill that were thrown out along with the third term proposal and the very important issue of trust in government.
“There were several proposed amendments in the third term bill that would have been of great benefit to Nigeria that became casualties of third term.
“Among these were the proposed amendments to the administration of local governments, the removal of immunity clause from criminal prosecution for political office holders, the insitutionalisation of rotational presidency, provision for independent candidacy and fostering a better geopolitical balance by enabling the creation of a sixth state for south-east.
“In the end, it would seem that the baby was thrown away with the bathwater.”
TheCable had earlier reported that Nnamani said many lawmakers sacrificed their legislative careers after seeing to the truncation of the controversial third term bid.