President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly holds no predetermined position on any issue of interest to Nigerians, ahead of moves to amend the 1999 constitution.
Lawan disclosed this in his remarks at yesterday’s plenary, after reading a letter signed by chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to announce the chairmanship composition to oversee a two-day public hearing across the six geo-political zones on proposals to alter the provisions of the constitution.
He said the exercise would avail Nigerians the opportunity to make submissions on any issue of interest, adding that the National Assembly on its part, would prioritize such issues to enhance the welfare and security of citizens.
He said: “Distinguished colleagues, this is a very important exercise for our country, and I’ll take this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians who have one issue or the other that they think the Constitution review of the senate should know and take note and address.
“It’s an opportunity to go to the Centre nearest to you. We are open, we are plain, we don’t have any preconceived or predetermined position on anything.
“The numerous issues that Nigerians feel should be addressed to make Nigeria better, to make citizens secured, and enhance the welfare of our people are topmost in our consideration.
“Because of this so important assignment, by this very important Committee of the Senate, the Senate will suspend plenary throughout next week.
“This is to enable not only the committee members, but the rest of us who are not even members of the Constitution Review Committee to participate in the exercise.
“Once again, we wish our committee on the review of the constitution the best of outing, and Nigerians should take every possible opportunity to be there to present whatever they feel strongly about on how this country could be better. [And] we are welcoming every suggestion and issue.”
The zonal public hearing on proposals to alter the provisions of the 1999 constitution, according to the Senate President, will commence next week and is scheduled to hold in two centres in each of the six Geo-political zones in the country, from Wednesday, May 26 to Thursday, May 27, 2021.
He said the North Central, which would have Jos as centre, consisting of Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue States, would be chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu; while the Minna Centre consisting of Niger, Kwara, Kogi and FCT would be chaired by Senator Abdullahi Sabi Aliyu.
Similarly, he said the North-East Centre, which is split into the Bauchi Centre (Bauchi, Yobe and Borno); and Gombe Centre (Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa) are to be chaired by Senators Abubakar Kyari and Mohammed Danjuma Goje.
In the North-West, the Kaduna Centre, which covers Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states, has as its chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya; while the Sokoto Centre, covering Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, has Senator Muhammed Aliero as chairman.
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is expected to chair the Owerri Centre, covering Imo and Abia states, while the second centre in Enugu, covering Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra states, under the South-East geo-political zone, would be chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
In the South-South, the Asaba Centre will cater for Delta, Edo and Bayelsa states, with its chairman as Senator James Manager; while the Port Harcourt Centre, consisting of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa-Ibom states would be chaired by Senator Betty Apiafi.
In the same manner, the South-West zone has the Lagos Centre, covering Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states, while the Akure Centre which caters for Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states are to be chaired by Senators Oluremi Tinubu and Ajayi Boroffice, respectively.