By Tordue Salem, Abuja
Chairman of Conference of Speakers in Nigeria Legislatures, and Bauchi State Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman has appealed to the National Assembly to give prominence to State Assemblies in the ongoing review process of the 1999 constitution.
Hon. Suleiman made the demand on Wednesday, at an interactive session with the Clerk of the National Assembly, Arch Amos Ojo, Secretary of the National Assembly Directorate of Interparliamentary Relations & Protocol, Mr Felix Orumwense and Director, Staff development, Mr Sbiodun Suraj Oladoyin were also present.
The Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly appealed to the Clerk, who heads the National Assembly bureau, “to set up a conference to partner state legislatures on constitution amendments”.
He called on the bureaucracy and the political leadership of the National Assembly, to jettison the tradition of allocating a second-fiddle role, to the State Assemblies, and the amendment process.
In his remarks, the Clerk, who represented both the establishment and the political leadership at the meeting, promised to accommodate the concerns of the Bauchi Speaker.
“I want to honestly, say that it gladdens my heart to have you here. This type of call is necessary; we have done more, if not for CoVID-19, that we are trying to get out of now, a lot more would have been an achievement in terms of partnership on the review of the 1999 constitution.
“But I assure you, that I will monitor developments and progress on the constitution review process. I want to implore the entire assembly, to take advantage of these amendments, to strengthen democracy and look especially, at clauses that were done for us, when we were not there.
“I want you, to also rest assured, that whatever you propose, will be followed to the letter. We need to have closer ties on the process”.
He also pledged on behalf of the National Assembly, to hold a conference of state legislatures and the National Assembly, on the ongoing review process.
He also pledged the “utmost cooperation of the National Assembly, with State Assemblies” for the success of the process.