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Ekweremadu: We Will Meet July Deadline for Constitution Amendment

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IMAGE: Ike Ekweremadu »

June, 04, 2013


Omololu Ogunmade 
in  Abuja

Deputy Senate President  Ike Ekweremadu  monday  promised Nigerians that the National Assembly would meet the set deadline for the completion of the amendment process that would give Nigeria a refurbished constitution.

Ekweremadu, at a session with Senate correspondents, confirmed reports that the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution would submit its report to the upper chamber   tomorrow.

He explained that the commitment of the committee   for now is to ensure that once the report is submitted this week, it is quickly considered, passed and forthwith dispatched to both the House of Representatives as well as state Houses of Assembly for further legislation.

The deputy senate president who is also the chairman of the National Assembly Constitution Review Committee (CRC), expressed hopes that both the House of Representatives and the state Houses of Assembly would treat the document with dispatch.

According to him, in arriving at its report, the committee took into consideration the output of public hearings held in six geo-political zones of the country as well as contributions  from other stakeholders.

“I believe that God willing, by this week, we should be laying on the table the report of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review. You ‘ll recall that we created timeline when we started. Our objective is to ensure that by this time, we should be able to lay the report on the table, probably have a discourse and pass it at the Senate and then, we should be able to push it to the House of Representatives and the state  assemblies respectively.

“We are hoping that they will be able to move as fast as we are doing so that hopefully, we will be able to achieve our July deadline. Even if we are going to miss it, it will not be too long behind the mark. We tenaciously followed our programme and timeline regarding constitutional amendment. I am happy to say that we have achieved our objectives in terms of the timing.

“So, hopefully, we are going to start the next phase which is proper legislation regarding the constitution amendment. What we have done is to consider public hearing at national level; we have had consultations with our constituents; we had stakeholders’ meeting with various states. We sent our colleagues to what we call thriving states like the United States, Canada and India to study how they manage their own federalism. So, we took cognisance of all these exposures and learning and the retreat in making our conclusion which we believe by this week, we’ll submit to the Senate,” Ekweremadu added.

On state creation, Ekweremadu who failed to make categorical statement on whether states would be created or not, said the process of creating states was herculean.

“People think they will come to Abuja and submit memoranda and the National Assembly will deliberate on it and then subsequently announce that so and so states have been created. Unfortunately, that is not the case. What happens is that you have to receive requests pursuant to Section 81 of the Constitution,” he explained.

While denying the existence of zoning of governorship position in his state, Enugu, Ekweremadu also dismissed reports that he had governorship ambition in 2015.

“I have been in politics in Enugu since the beginning of this particular dispensation. People from every part of the state have vied but somehow, somebody would win. So, I am sure that our brothers from Nsukka understand that clearly,’’ he said.

Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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