From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Civil Society Organisation and the media has voted in favour of local government autonomy, independent candidacy and reduction of age for election ,saying the autonomy of Local government is not negotiable.
These resolutions was reached at a session to aggregate their views as regard the ongoing constitutional review of Nigeria, held in Kaduna yesterday.
Barrister Solomon Apenja who briefed the media after the meeting explained that in 2010 there was an attempt to amend parts of the constitution including the local government autonomy but could not scale through because it could not get the require two-third of states assembly votes.
He emphasized that this time around, the bill will receive positive response by the legislators having learn their lessons from the previous attempt and the impact it will create at grassroots when eventually passed into law.
He said the meeting became necessary in order to allow the citizens to make their input so that their views could be aggregated with a view to strengthening Nigeria’s democracy in the interest of every citizen of the country at home or abroad.
“Those bills that meant to deepening and strengthening our democracy should be given proper attention. Citizens should engage their lawmakers to influence bills that will improve democracy”, he said.
Two-third of state assemblies will be required to form a simple majority which were expected to vote in favour or against these bills before the national assembly can affect the changes in the constitution as part of its major constitutional responsibilities.
Earlier, State Team Leader of Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), Abel Adejoh said, the need for citizens to know what is happening in the country’s internal democracy as well as making their input propel his organization to convene the meeting.