Abuja – Some Nigerians have commended the National assembly for its initiatives to allow the people at the grassroots to participate in the constitution review.
In Sokoto State, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, said that the public hearings on constitution review “is aimed at having a constitution that will stand the test of time’’.
Tambuwal said this at Tambuwal/Kebbe Federal Constituency in Sokoto State at the public hearing on the constitution review on Saturday.
“We want to have a constitution which is widely acceptable and a long lifespan. The public hearings are also aimed at widening the scope of consultations and inclusiveness,” he said.
He appealed to Nigerians to actively participate in the review to ensure a lasting constitution.
Prof. Riskuwa Shehu, the Vice Chancellor, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, advocated the use of the public hearings to decide national issues.
Riskuwa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Tambuwal, Sokoto, on Saturday on the sideline that the public hearing was “a very good thing’’.
“This is the first time the members of the National Assemble are coming to listen to the views of their constituents
Riskuwa said that the exercise provides for real participatory democracy, adding that it would positively impact on the nation’s democracy.
He called on the legislators to create time go to their various constituencies to collate the views of their constituents on national issues apart from the constitution review.
The District Head of Sanyinna, Tambuwal Local Government Area, Alhaji Shehu Garba described the constitution review as a welcome development, saying that it would enhance democracy.
In Yobe, Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe says the rule of law, good governance and eradication of corruption are more important than repeated constitution review.
Gaidam said this in Damaturu while declaring open the Peoples’ Public session on the review of the 1999 Constitution.
He advised that the review should not lose sight of national priorities which included security, poverty alleviation and promotion of employment as cardinal objectives of the constitution.
He expressed hope that the present initiative would douse the persistent agitation for Sovereign National Conference and constitution changes.
In Kaduna, Mr Audu Amba, the Coordinator of Chikun/ Kajuru Constitution Reviewing Centre, Kaduna State, said at the Federal Constituency on Saturday that opportunity would enable Nigerians to rewrite their destiny.
Amba urged the participants to shun ethnic, religious and political sentiments in their contributions, adding that they should feel free to contribute wisely to the constitution.
Rep. Yakubu Barde, representing the constituency, said the measure was to enable every Nigerians to contribute to the amendment of the constitution and urged the people to contribute to it.
However, Rep.Suleiman Kwande, (DPP Plateau) said in Jos on Saturday that he was “totally opposed’’ to the creation of more states in Nigeria.
Kwande told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there was no need for new states because many of the existing ones depend solely on federal allocations to survive.
The legislator said he supported the removal of the indigene/settler dichotomy so as to make Nigerians equal in the state they chose to live and work in.
Mr Timothy Golu, the Chief Whip, Plateau House of Assembly, said that amendment was “very crucial’’, because it was aimed at the growth and development of the country.
Golu implored the stakeholders to be bold and express their opinions adequately, saying that they should be critical so as not to be shortchanged as Nigeria was for all.
He also advised the people to make their views known on the relevance and efficiency of state Electoral Commission, state creation, and other issues that would shore up the fortunes of the populace.
Sen. Sati Gogwim harped on the need for autonomous local governments and an independent legislature for the states to ensure that lawmakers at that level were not reduced to mere rubber stamps of governors.
In Zamfara, the Council of Ulamas, has called for the removal of immunity clause from the nation’s constitution as part of its contribution to the ongoing 1999 Constitution amendment.
The council said the measure became necessary because there were many corrupt leaders at all levels in Nigeria. (NAN)