Rep Efe Afe
WARRI — THE member representing Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Efe Afe, has explained how he convinced his colleagues to recognise and ‘reinstate’ Sapele constituency as a separate district from the current configuration of Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency.
Recall that the House of Representatives passed a resolution to recognise the existence of the constituency and the two Sapele state constituencies, “as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution as amended.”
The Green Chamber also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct elections for Sapele Federal Constituency and the two-state constituencies affecting every necessary adjustment to bring the resolution in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
According to the federal lawmaker, he led a debate on the motion, arguing that Sapele Local Government had two state constituencies, namely Sapele Rural and Sapele Urban Constituencies and one federal constituency, Sapele Federal Constituency, “prior to the reconfiguration, which is the basis of the general elections in 1998 and subsequent elections.”
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He reportedly expressed concern at the floor of the House, that Sapele Local Government Area is the only local government council in Delta State “that has suffered abridgment from two state constituencies to one state constituency.
“And the scrapping of her federal constituency, while other local government councils of her status migrated from two to more constituencies.”
Afe informed the House that INEC decided that Sapele Federal Constituency be reinstated via a memo after series of substantiated presentations from Sapele Local Government Council to INEC in 2004.
He noted that the decision for reinstatement was duly communicated to the National Assembly for further legislative action as prescribed by the Constitution.
The Reps member noted that in spite of the well-informed and constitutionally supported communication by INEC to the National Assembly for effective resolution in 2007, the National Assembly failed to act to reinstate the constituency and the two state constituencies.
He re-emphasising that: “It is on record that Sapele Rural State Constituency consists of Sapele Ward 1, Ward 9, Ward 10 and Ward 11, while Sapele Urban consists of Sapele Ward 2, Ward 3, Ward 4, Ward 5, Ward 6, Ward 7 and Ward 8 elected representatives.”
Afe reportedly informed the House that the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin Judicial Division “had made a pronouncement affirming an earlier ruling of the Federal High Court, Warri Judicial Division on the matter.”
Report says that it was as a result of Afe’s argument that the motion was put to vote by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and was unanimously adopted by the House.
The PDP chieftain said it was worrisome and regrettable that Nigeria had organised and conducted three general elections since INEC communicated its decision to the National Assembly for implementation, yet “effect has not been given to the legal and substantiated decision of INEC.”
Vanguard News Nigeria