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Constitution amendment: Lawmakers to stop mischief-makers

By Emeka Mamah and Emma Aziken, Kaduna
Senate President David Mark has said that the National Assembly will resist any attempts by persons or groups who insist that their views must go into the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution.

Mark said that the Legislature will yield to the yearnings of Nigerians in the process of amending the Constitution, instead of listening to those he described as mischief – makers who “want to fix their own ideas and their own positions in the Constitution.”

He spoke even as the Deputy Senate President, Chief  Ike Ekweremadu, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Review, said the resolve of the Senate to lead the quest for review of the constitution remains unwavering.

The two leaders of the Senate were at a retreat for the members of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Kaduna yesterday. The retreat was attended by the Kaduna State Governor and his deputy, Namadi Sambo and Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa respectively, speakers of state Houses of Assembly, former Chief Justice of the Federation and chairman of the National Electoral Reform Committee, Justice Mohammed Uwais, as well as the chairman of Ghana Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwado Afari-Gyan, among others.

Mark said, “We will yield to the yearning of Nigerians. The constitutional review is not for senators alone. There has been a lot of insinuation that we in the National Assembly are out to put one thing or remove another thing from the constitution. “That is wrong. Those are the views of mischief makers and they are people who really want to fix their own ideas and their own positions in the constitution.

“Let me also say empathically  that we would resist any attempt by any small group of people, be they high or low. If they want to insist that their own positions must go into the constitution simply because they are vocal enough.

It is the  will and the determination of majority of Nigerians  that would be reflected in the constitutional amendment. The Nigerian media space has been  rife with reports that tend to create the impression that the Senate appears to be working at crossroads with the Presidency or the Justice Uwais report.

This is not correct…Let me also state outright that although the Senate and the House of Representatives are conducting separate processes on the issue of constitutional reform, the goal is the same.

We are in discussions on how to harmonize our positions as we work.”

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