Restructuring: It’s injustice for all zones to have same number of states, El-Rufai says

Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai
Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai

The chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  committee on restructuring, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has said demanding equal states for all the geo-political zones is injustice as it will amount to trying to make “the unequal equal”.

The governor said this on Wednesday while speaking at an interactive session with Nigerian youth in Abuja. 

Some Nigerians have demanded that all the six zones have equal number of states as a way of restructuring the polity.

Currently, four zones have six states each, while the North-west has seven and the South-east five.

‎“You cannot come here and say we should create nine states in each zone. Nigeria is not equal in terms of land mass, population, resources etc. so, you can’t do that. It is injustice trying to make the unequal equal.”

Mr. El-Rufai also said that it will be difficult for states agitating for resource control to achieve 100 per cent control of resources in their states.

To him, because states without oil are more, those with oil might not get the required votes in the National Assembly for their wish.

‎”There is absolutely no way in the Nigeria of today that a state that has oil will have 100 per cent of the revenue. That is not possible because to get that document through, you have to pass it through the National Assembly and in the National Assembly, there are more states that have no oil than those that have oil and so, they will vote it down.”

“So, you better start proposing something that works for the entire country and not just you. Otherwise, it will not help. The greatest injustice you can do is to try to make the unequal equal or the equal unequal.”

The governor also reiterated his previous stance on efficient management of his state’s security votes. He said Kaduna’s security vote is being controlled by the Secretary to the State Government, and he is prepared to open the books for those willing to audit his security votes.

The governor who was responding to questions and suggestions raised by some of the youth said rather than make suggestions that may not be feasible, the youth should find a way of engaging the process after learning from history.

‎He said agitating for the removal of the Senate will not work because such will require a Senate vote and no one will vote him or herself out. 

“When you make recommendation that you want to abolish the Senate, you should know that the Senate cannot be abolished unless the Senate votes to abolish the Senate. Who is going to vote to make himself unemployed?”

“We have a political process and so, we are not over-throwing the government and starting afresh. So, we have to work with what we have in a sensible and pragmatic manner and reform what need to be reformed.”

“When you say create states on the one hand and on the other hand you say cost of governance is too high, you are contradicting yourself. For every state you create, you are adding to the budget of the country. So, you cannot be saying that the cost of governance is too high and yet ask for more states.”

“We must think for once what will be of interest to the country. We must think of what will be of interest to Nigeria because what will work in one part of the country may not work in another. If we don’t think first of what is of interest to all of us before the individuals, we will only have series of conflicting argument without consensus.”

Earlier on Friday, the deputy president of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu said the National Assembly has received 45 memoranda requesting the creation of new states from the existing 36 states of the federation.

He said this at a public lecture organised by a group of lawyers of the South-east extraction in Lagos on Friday.

He said the requests were presented to the National Assembly by various groups from different parts of the country.

Mr. Ekweremadu, who is the Chairman of the Senate’s Constitution Review Committee, said about 34 of such memoranda were intra-state demands, seven inter-state, while four cut across geo-political zones.

To him, minority fears, search for equity, speedy development and quest for political empires and influence by the elite are some of the key factors responsible for the proliferation of states and the agitations for more since independence.

Speaking on security vote and its legality, he said there were misconceptions about security votes, and that security votes were not unconstitutional.

“Go and read your constitution. The state House of Assembly has the power to appropriate anything and security vote is a line charge in the budget and so. It is not illegal. But it is how it is used is the issue.”

“I know of a former governor who used to collect N1.5 billion in cash as security votes and come to Abuja. It has been subject of abuse and that is not how it should be.”

“The idea of security vote is for the governor to have discretionary funds to deal with emergency situations because you don’t know when you will have security challenges and you need money to be able to respond to these challenges.”

“Sometimes, you need money to pay for information and sometimes, you can’t imagine the type of people you pay as informant because armed robbers patronise a lot of places and you need to know what they are planning next. Another use of security vote is to support security agents in the states.”


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  • systematic

    I agreed with you el rufa I

    • Agba

      PARASITE like you

  • thusspokez

    All you hear these people talk about is consumption, ‘chop’, how to cut the national cake; you would never hear them talk about production to add to the size of the national cake.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Na soo

  • Netanyahu

    Hell rufai, what exactly are you saying? Maintain the status quo? Your head no just correct.

  • Agba

    The north are just LAZY with land mass in NIGER STATE double the size HOLLAND can feed can feed the whole Nigeria with food,but oïl oïl oïl;is their problem,i said it without civil war ,hausa will not let go what they have been enjoying for long long time.

  • AFRICANER

    In the United States, the unequal is equal when it comes to land mass, and population. The size of an area doesn’t give the area or state more Senate seats, for example. Each state regardless of size produces 2 Senators. Take a look at the State population, and then the Stae size below:

    Rank by Populations
    Rank
    State
    Population

    All United States
    308,745,538
    1
    California
    37,253,956
    2
    Texas
    25,145,561
    3
    New York
    19,378,102
    4
    Florida
    18,801,310
    5
    Illinois
    12,830,632
    6
    Pennsylvania
    12,702,379
    7
    Ohio
    11,536,504
    8
    Michigan
    9,883,640
    9
    Georgia
    9,687,653
    10
    North Carolina
    9,535,483
    11
    New Jersey
    8,791,894
    12
    Virginia
    8,001,024
    13
    Washington
    6,724,540
    14
    Massachusetts
    6,547,629
    15
    Indiana
    6,483,802
    16
    Arizona
    6,392,017
    17
    Tennessee
    6,346,105
    18
    Missouri
    5,988,927
    19
    Maryland
    5,773,552
    20
    Wisconsin
    5,686,986
    21
    Minnesota
    5,303,925
    22
    Colorado
    5,029,196
    23
    Alabama
    4,779,736
    24
    South Carolina
    4,625,364
    25
    Louisiana
    4,533,372
    26
    Kentucky
    4,339,367
    27
    Oregon
    3,831,074
    28
    Oklahoma
    3,751,351
    29
    Connecticut
    3,574,097
    30
    Iowa
    3,046,355
    31
    Mississippi
    2,967,297
    32
    Arkansas
    2,915,918
    33
    Kansas
    2,853,118
    34
    Utah
    2,763,885
    35
    Nevada
    2,700,551
    36
    New Mexico
    2,059,179
    37
    West Virginia
    1,852,994
    38
    Nebraska
    1,826,341
    39
    Idaho
    1,567,582
    40
    Hawaii
    1,360,301
    41
    Maine
    1,328,361
    42
    New Hampshire
    1,316,470
    43
    Rhode Island
    1,052,567
    44
    Montana
    989,415
    45
    Delaware
    897,934
    46
    South Dakota
    814,180
    47
    Alaska
    710,231
    48
    North Dakota
    672,591
    49
    Vermont
    625,741
    50
    Washington, D. C.
    601,723
    51
    Wyoming
    563,626

    Rank by Size (Total Area)
    Rank
    State
    Size
    (land & water)
    (square miles)

    All United States
    3,794,083.06
    1
    Alaska
    663,267.26
    2
    Texas
    268,580.82
    3
    California
    163,695.57
    4
    Montana
    147,042.40
    5
    New Mexico
    121,589.48
    6
    Arizona
    113,998.30
    7
    Nevada
    110,560.71
    8
    Colorado
    104,093.57
    9
    Oregon
    98,380.64
    10
    Wyoming
    97,813.56
    11
    Michigan
    96,716.11
    12
    Minnesota
    86,938.87
    13
    Utah
    84,898.83
    14
    Idaho
    83,570.08
    15
    Kansas
    82,276.84
    16
    Nebraska
    77,353.73
    17
    South Dakota
    77,116.49
    18
    Washington
    71,299.64
    19
    North Dakota
    70,699.79
    20
    Oklahoma
    69,898.19
    21
    Missouri
    69,704.31
    22
    Florida
    65,754.59
    23
    Wisconsin
    65,497.82
    24
    Georgia
    59,424.77
    25
    Illinois
    57,914.38
    26
    Iowa
    56,271.55
    27
    New York
    54,556.00
    28
    North Carolina
    53,818.51
    29
    Arkansas
    53,178.62
    30
    Alabama
    52,419.02
    31
    Louisiana
    51,839.70
    32
    Mississippi
    48,430.19
    33
    Pennsylvania
    46,055.24
    34
    Ohio
    44,824.90
    35
    Virginia
    42,774.20
    36
    Tennessee
    42,143.27
    37
    Kentucky
    40,409.02
    38
    Indiana
    36,417.73
    39
    Maine
    35,384.65
    40
    South Carolina
    32,020.20
    41
    West Virginia
    24,229.76
    42
    Maryland
    12,406.68
    43
    Hawaii
    10,930.98
    44
    Massachusetts
    10,554.57
    45
    Vermont
    9,614.26
    46
    New Hampshire
    9,349.94
    47
    New Jersey
    8,721.30
    48
    Connecticut
    5,543.33
    49
    Delaware
    2,489.27
    50
    Rhode Island
    1,545.05
    51
    Washington, D. C.
    68.34

    • Jaycee

      Thank you very much for your analytics, I also think Mallam Nasir was not sincere with his view on restructuring. To me, it’s just another political talk for political gains for selfish politicians.

  • idris

    What about the stark injustice of running your multiple and ‘unequal’ States with the resources of the Niger Deltans who you in turn deny adequate representation with regards to the imbalance in State and Local Government creation and again the enthronement of a punitive and inequitable Revenue formula, the just demand for redress which El Rufai describes as merely ‘a wish’. This Nigeria cannot long endure, surely.

  • Fairgame

    In this evil man’s mind oil is the only resource. If land mass was the basis for determine things countries like Holland, Sweden and co won’t even exist. What has the core North done with their so called land mass? Boko Haram and illiteracy while continuously going mad over Niger delta oil. Anyway this evil personified man will die before he smells Aso Rock.

    • AryLoyds

      Oil is the only language animals like el rufai understands. Parasites

  • Decimator

    “The greatest injustice you can do is to try to make the unequal equal or the equal unequal.” PT

    IS THAT NOT EXACTLY WHAT EL-RUFAI AND HIS NOTHERN ISLAMIC CALIPHATE ARE DOING WITH THEIR SO CALLED QUOTA SYSTEM WHICH

    THEY SO HIGHLY CHERISCHED ?

    • thusspokez

      The greatest injustice you can do is to try to make the unequal equal or the equal unequal.

      He probably thinks that he is making sense, but isn’t this the reality of life? Would he therefore say that nature itself is unjust?

  • Someone

    this man wants to run for president. who in his or her right mind will vote for him????
    does he seem better than your brother? he is already threatening people to stay away by saying he sent
    yaradua to his grave, he knows they will not allow him. what another loser that wants to rule, troublemaker

  • Someone

    all he knows is OIL, OIL, OIL. it is only in the north they will vote for dullards like this. only in the north they will let dullards like this rule. politics to him is a do or die affair.

  • abodes_124

    If we are split into semi autonomous federations regions . Allocation and/or contributions from to and from each region should be equal. Each region can then create as many states or provinces it wishes as long as this is no longer a basis for allocation from the centre.

    • Gary

      Exactly, thank you. Each region will be free to create states or provinces or local councils all funded from its own resources.
      Why is that so hard to fathom or implement if not for the greed of exploiting the resources of others.
      Please note that Niger Delta has sustained the Nigerian federation for over half a century now, leading to the development of states and major cities across the country. Can anyone please tell us what is wrong if the Niger Deltans are no asking to keep HALF of their resource to develop their region and prepare for the fast-approaching world where oil will lose its value? Is that wrong, greedy or unfair?

  • john lugard

    Injustice to who? Is it to the people who have 9 states in their geo-political region or to those who have 5 states in their geo – political region? I need answer to this question because it seems the level tribalism in Nigeria has deprived us of all sense of justice to one another and even to the society in general.

  • BEN IKARI

    Mr. El-Rufai has said the obvious and why current system, especially state structure that favors three ethnic groups and regions over others aren’t working and will never work. The obvious I mean is that the states, which have no oil are more than states which have oil. This is very true. He also said different states have different level of resources. And he’s absolutely correct. What He refused to say is that the few states, which have oil are funding more than 90 percent of the states without oil. He also didn’t say that more than 90 percent of the 36 states, mostly those without oil can’t create one year or month’s budget thus can’t pay one year or a month’s salary without oil. The states without oil are the ones objecting to restructuring or disintegration. This is the real injustice if El-Rufai is honest and should ask me!

    Of course, the North where he comes from, especially Hausa as one ethnic group though fused with Fulanis due to historical cultural affinities, has the most states. By this I mean the North has about 19 states. Of these states Hausa-Fulanis have about 12. This implies the North alone with senate and house representatives combined has more voting power than the Southwest, Southeast and South-south combined. Buhari and El-Rufai understands this illogical and unjustifiable, unequal and divisive Northern-controlled military states and otherwise political arrangement.

    That is the reason Buhari pushed the issue of restructuring to the national assembly. He, like El-Rufai and others of the North, Hausa-Fulani in particular understands they’ve the vote to thwart restructuring or other measures where they feel the current status quo they’re unjustly and unfairly benefiting could be tampered and altered. We’ve seen them in action at national conferences which resulted to nothing but waste of money and time. This last conference convoked to try save Jonathan’s political career saw Northerners, especially Hausa-Fulanis threatening brim stone and fire including to leave the country when hitting issues they fear, resource control in particular came up. Sadly, the oil owners and an inept president from their region had no vision so chickened out.

    Meanwhile, notwithstanding Northern and especially Hausa-Fulanis and others’ fears, the proper measure that’s feasible and pragmatic hence will ensure fairness and equality then engender justice and peace, stability is a return to the regional system using true fiscal federalism as foundation. Regional system should take great care of all the fears and conflicts as the current mostly nonviable and parasitic (saprophyte, saprophytic) states are dissolved. If honest, serious and determine to stay together on just and fair terms and not mouth and with military threats, ethnic groups or peoples and regions will have to give up somethings to make the unworkable that is Nigeria work.

    Therefore in the new regions new states shall only be created by these regions in coordination with the central government, which shall devolve immense power, but according to their economic viability and not the current train-wreck principle of sharing oil money every month. This sharing principle is a measure that has caused unthinkable pressure on the oil communities including pollution and abject poverty. It’s also greatly caused national greed, laziness, all manners of corruption and violence, actual killings and hangings of oil community members who dare question the real unjust and evil policy of institutionalized theft or armed robbery and violence above.

    Let me reiterate that the new states shall be discussed and agreed upon by the regions. They shall be created by these regions only the number they can care for and not the current system created by the federal military government that’s dominated by three ethnic groups: Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo which benefit to the detriment of others. With the regional system of government current states and national assembly shall be gone as new ones based on equal ethnic, state or otherwise representation established. El-Rufai will then have no need to worry about the assembly members voting themselves out. Although he’s right saying assembly members will not vote themselves out of job, members could as well vote themselves out of job if they’re committed to national unity, justice, equality, equity—security and peace, so knowing doing so will cause the aforementioned.

  • Gary

    The Kafuna giant is trying to be clever by half here. Nobody is asking for 100 per cent resource control as he has mischievously put it. What is on demand is that each state be allowed to wholly exploit its resources, like farmers do in the North, and then remit HALF ( 50% Mr. Rufai) of their receipts as taxes to the federal pool to be shared by an agreed formula.
    That is it. Nothing complicated about it and it was the formula agreed upon at Independence before the military intervened in the governance of Nigeria.
    Stop misrepresenting the positions of others just for your sectional political ends.