â€¦accuses NASS of squandering N1bn
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA -Â Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has scolded Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, over comment credited to him over the report of Justice Mohammed Uwaisâ€™ Electoral Reforms, noting the report is very fundamental to sanctity of the ballot box in Nigeria.
The group said in a statement that â€œthe report is sacrosanct in form, origin, spirit and letters; as per any genuine move to construct an electoral reform aimed at bequeathing a legacy of sanctity of the ballot box to Nigeria.â€
The statement signed by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, derided the Joint Committee on Constitution Review (JCCR), which Senator Ekweremadu is Chairman for allegedly squandering N1 billion while engaging in petty quarrel of chairman and co-chairman, without doing anything towards reviewing the constitution.
He said: â€œCNPP is also appalled that the JCCR that failed to put its house in order and allowed its functions to be beclouded and diverted over petty quarrel of chairman and co-chairman is today looking for money after squandering N1 billion.
â€œConsequently, CNPP calls for auditing of the expenditure of the N1 billion as we did not see the justification for such a huge fund, calling on foreign donor agencies to discountenance the JCCRâ€™s request for fund.
â€œCNPP states that without prejudice to other relevant items that require constitution amendment like restructuring of the federation, states creation etc; that it will be better to embark on electoral amendment as the 1st amendment. We can borrow a leaf from the USA, who in the over two hundred years of democracy had most of the time amends one item after the other,â€ he said.
The CNPP reminded the JCCR and indeed the National Assembly that the Uwais report was the fulfilment of the pledge made to Nigerians by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua during his inauguration.
â€œThat it will be a great disservice to our fatherland for the Senate or the National Assembly to forget that the Uwais ERC followed religiously the granite terms of reference submitted by President Yarâ€™Adua, which the outcome was the collation of subsisting national consensus and the peopleâ€™s voice, that gave birth to the sacrosanct report.
â€œCNPP warns the National Assembly not fail to use this unique opportunity to restore Nigerian democracy, which is dangerously sliding into one party state dictatorship and Do-or-Die electoral process,â€ he said.