By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU – Speakers of 36 state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria said they have received draft copies of the 2017 amendment to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Conference of Speakers? of Nigeria, CSN, in its meeting in Enugu yesterday, acknowledged receipt of the transmission of the National Assembly resolutions on the proposed constitution amendments and pledged to expedite action on it.
Chairman of the conference and Speaker of Kebbi State House of Assembly, Hon. Abulmumin Kamba?, who asked the Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Ali Ahmad, to read the conference communique, said the State Houses of Assembly will immediately commence ?further legislative actions on the 15 items for amendment.
According to Ahmad, “the conference is not unaware of the state legislature’s constitutional role of ratifying the resolution?.
“However, the conference shall ensure due diligence and thorough legislative functions of state assemblies are carried out with a view to ensuring that the yearnings and aspirations of the people are captured in the proposed amendments process.”
The speakers pledged to act expeditiously on the constitution review.
Meanwhile, a mild drama played out at the conference when a group, friends of democracy, led by a former member of the House of Representatives, Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, was called to address the conference.
While Ugokwe addressed the conference on the need to adopt the entire 15 ?items for amendment, since they were not contentious except for local government autonomy, the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, raised objection, insisting that the visitors came to create bias.
National coordinator of the group, John Mutu, frowned at the resentment by the Rivers Speaker and felt embarrassed for asking the group to leave the conference.
The group was however called back and was given more time to address the conference after an apology by the conference chairman, Hon. Kamba.
The 36 speakers of the state Houses of Assembly were in attendance.
Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Uboshi, commended the speakers for choosing the state for the conference and announced that the next meeting of the conference will hold in Zamfara State in February 2018.