The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said revising or altering constituencies based on 15-year-old (2006 census) population data is ‘’inappropriate”, saying the well-known rapidity of population changes in Nigeria will make nonsense of any outcome.
The commission said the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not place an obligation on INEC to revise or alter the boundaries of constituencies every 10 years, as has been canvassed by some opinions in the media.
The House of Representatives had earlier mandated INEC to without delay embark on constituency delineation as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) with a view to creating more constituencies.
The House also mandated its committee on electoral matters to interface with the leadership of INEC and report back within six weeks.
The resolution of the green chamber is sequel to a motion of urgent national importance moved by the minority leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, during plenary.
INEC in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, signed by the national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said for the avoidance of doubt, Section 73 (1) of the Constitution provides for that to happen at intervals of “not less than 10 years.”
Okoye said this implies that it can only happen from 10 years and above.
He, however, said the commission is not in breach of the Constitution, since the revision could happen in 10 years or more.
The statement reads in part: “While the division of the country into electoral constituencies for Senate, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly is the responsibility of the commission, once they are established, subsequent revision of the constituencies and/or adjustment of their boundaries are the joint responsibilities of the Commission and the National Assembly.”