Senate holds public hearing on constitution amendment
By clifford Ndujihe, Deputy Political Editor
SHOULD the Land Use Act, Code of Conduct and National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Act be retained or removed from the 1999 Constitution?
This is one of the questions the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution wants Nigerians to answer to pave way for an elaborate amendment of the nation’s code book that will accelerate socio-economic and political development in the country.
Nigerians are also expected to furnish the Senate committee with their views on raging issues such as devolution of powers, creation of more states, recognition of the six geo-political zones in the constitution, role for traditional rulers, local government, fiscal federalism, amendment of provisions relating to amendment of the constitution and boundary adjustment to remove ambiguities.
Inviting the general public, civil society/interest groups, professional bodies and other interested persons to a two-day public hearing on “the proposed further alteration to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999,” holding in Abuja on October 11 and 12, Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Senate Committee review panel, listed other issues to be considered at the hearing.
The issues include the immunity clause, Nigerian Police, judiciary, executive, rotation of executive offices among senatorial districts of a state, gender and special group, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory Administration, residency and indigene provisions, as well as any other matter that will promote good governance and will improve the Nigerian state but requires amendment to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The hearings will hold at the ECOWAS Parliament, International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Giving the issues listed for deliberation, those angling for reversion to the parliamentary system as opposed to the current presidential system would have to wait for another time.
However, on account of the dusts some of the issues have raised in the polity in recent times, a host of pressure groups and organisations have declared their readiness to storm the hearing with memoranda.
Among those, who told Vanguard yesterday that they would attend are the umbrella body of Igbo socio-cultural organisations, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a group of eminent Nigerian citizens, The Patriots.
Chief Nduka Eya, Ohanaeze Secretary-General, who wondered why the Senate panel did not hold zonal hearings in the six geo-political zones, said Ohanaeze, nevertheless would attend.
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