By Emman Ovuakporie
FURTHER amendment to the constitution of the of the Federal Government of Nigeria is being rebuffed by state legislators as 23 out of the 36 states in the federation refused to send representations to the 7th Assembly.
Speaker Aminu Tambuwal last Thursday had to announce the 21 states that had not sent their representations on the floor of the House appealing that they should heed the clarion call to make their father land a proud nation.
Tambuwal had set up an ad hoc committee on constitution review consisting 36 membership of all states of the federation and FCT but as at last Thursday 23 states had not even indicated interest.
The 23 dissenting states include:Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River,Delta, Edo,Enugu,Gombe, Im, Jigawa, Kano,Katsina,Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Sokoto,Taraba and Zamfara.
However, some members of Reps who spoke to Saturday Vanguard expressed divergent views over the refusal of the states to send their representations on further amendment of the constitution.
According to Zakari Mohammed representing Baraten/Kaiama Federal constituency in Kwara, he said state legislators consider their Governors and treat them like emperors and for this singular reason they are at the beck and call of the Chief Executives.
He explained that “the governors are running a fused government hence state legislator see themselves appointees of governors.”“The states see their governors as emperors, democracy is unitary at this level and not true federalism.”
Rep Leo Ogor representing Isoko South/Isoko North however had a divergent view as he is optimistic that the state legislators must send representations as it is for their own good.
He said “it is unfortunate that when we sent the bill on the independence of the legislature they backed out but this time around I think they know better because they stand to benefit from all angles by effectively participating in it.
“I’am quite convinced that any moment from now they would start sending their representations to the National Assembly and remember this is part of the Tambuwal legislative agenda meant for the 7th Assembly not Tambuwal as a person per se.”
“This constitutional amendment will involve the executive, legislative and the public to input their own contributions to it and you know all states must partake in it so I do not expect the states to do otherwise.”
“In the 6th Assembly we tried to amend Section 315 but it was aborted but we are presenting it again and this time we will ensure all the necessary faults in that law are properly fixed.