The Nasarawa State Government has received 4936 requests for the creation of additional chiefdoms, district areas and village areas, as well as complaints about disputes arising from boundaries.
This was disclosed when the Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule received an interim report from the High-powered Committee on Creation of Additional Districts and Village Areas, led by its Chairman, Chief Philip Dada, at the Government House, on Tuesday (October 4, 2022).
While expressing surprise at the high number of memoranda submitted before the committee, the Governor appreciated members of the committee for taking their time to go through all the memoranda and to present an interim report.
“I want to thank you for the pains that have taken to go through all the various memorandum that you have received and reviewing them.
“I had no idea you will receive anything close to one-tenth of that, to be honest with you. I thought you are just going to receive a few from places that we thought people were maybe oppressed. Maybe a few local government areas,” he stated.
He assured that his administration will study the interim report with a view to arriving at a decision on the request by the committee for government to extend the period for its assignment by another six weeks.
The Governor equally assured that, even though the creation of additional chiefdoms was not part of the mandate of the committee, such requests still falls under any other matter incidental to the terms of reference of the committee.
Engineer Sule added that since there’s a committee of traditional rulers looking into the creation of additional chiefdoms, his administration may compare the outcome of the recommendations of the high-powered committee with that of the traditional in order to synergize.
On the request by the committee for an extension of time to enable the committee complete its assignment, Engineer Sule promised to get back to the committee after studying the interim report.
Earlier, while presenting its interim report, Chairman of the High-powered Committee on Creation of Additional Districts and Village Areas in the state, Chief Philip Dada, said the interim report covers the requirements for the creation of districts and village areas, summary of all submitted memoranda, analysis of chiefdoms with disputed territories and other contentious issues hovering on defective instrument that created some of the chiefdoms in the first place.
Chief Dada disclosed that following invitation for the submission of memoranda from interested communities and individuals, the committee received 611 memoranda, containing 4936 requests.
The chairman explained that of the 4936 requests, 1081 were for creation of districts areas, 3766 for creation of village areas, 45 complaints about disputation arising from boundaries and 44 requests for creation of chiefdoms and upgradation.
He however said, owing to the enormity of the assignment, as well as the need for diligence and thoroughness, the committee has no option than to request for another six weeks as additional time, to allow it complete its assignment, in the interest of justice, equity, fairness and inclusiveness.
He explained further that the extension sought will also allow the committee conduct defense of memoranda by registered interested persons and groups from all over the state, to be conducted in the three senatorial districts, hold dialogue sessions and courtesy visits with the president in council of the local government traditional councils in their palaces.
Also, he said the extension will allow the committee conclude its deliberations on all areas as demanded by the terms of reference and make its recommendations, as well as enable the committee to produce its report for submission to government.
It would be recalled that Engineer Sule constituted and inaugurated the High-powered Committee on Creation of Additional Districts and Village Areas on June 17, 2022, with the eight weeks within which to complete its assignment.
The committee was to be guided by eight term of reference namely 1. To consider the financial implications of the creation of additional districts and village areas in the state. 2. Identify the requirements for the creation of districts and village areas 3. Exercise equity, fairness in the recommendation of any community worthy of upgrade. 4. To review identified cases of composition of chiefdoms, districts and village areas with defective and deficient instruments and their implications in their modus operandi.
Also, 5. To examine disputed territories, expansionist tendencies and other claims over contentious chiefdoms, districts and village areas 6. To ascertain compliance with requirements of Section 2 of the Nasarawa State Local Government Law as regards the name of territorial jurisdiction of Emirates and chiefdoms, as well as methods, eligibility and college of selectors 7. To recommend appropriate solutions to address identified conflicts in the identified chiefdoms, districts and village areas and 8. To consider any other issue incidental to the above terms of reference and make appropriate recommendations.