By Christiana Ekpa
Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed has called on the National Assembly to consider the creation of Katagum state and more Local Government Areas, out of the present Bauchi State in order to foster development.
The Governor, speaking during the Bauchi zonal public hearing comprising Bauchi, Yobe and Borno States, conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution noted that there are states today, that are not as big as Bauchi.
He also noted that Bauchi state which has been a safe haven for IDPs from neighboring states has been overstretched in terms of infrastructural facilities.
According to Bala, there was also the need for the present 1999 constitution amendment committee of the National Assembly to create way for state police to ensure effective policing.
He said: “We were here last week to welcome distinguish senators when the same exercise took place here and today, we are privileged to also welcome the other bicameral arm of the national assembly who have come to discharge this very important duty.
“This indeed is a mark, different between the unelected constitutional assembly that drafted the 1999 constitution and the elected national assembly that we now have in place.
“The constituent assembly that was appointed by the military government have no regards for the views and interest of the people.
“The democratically elected National Assembly is now going round to seek the inputs of the people towards amending the constitution, that is the marked difference.”
The Governor said Nigeria needs a constitution that will serve the interest of the people, adding that the 1999 constitution that ushered in the current democratic dispensation has not only been widely criticised for not holistically addressing the yearnings and aspirations of the people but because of its many gaps.
“There was the need for a workable and acceptable constitution, adding that there should be a clear command structure of the military which concentrate enormous powers at the center as manifested in the 1999 constitution.
“The Constituent units of the Nigerian federation represented by the current 36 states and the FCT and 774 LGs are nearer to the people that must be given enough powers with concomitant resources to discharge their responsibilities so as to positively impact in the lives of the people at the grassroot.
“The state must be seen to be a truly autonomous entity with powers to run their affairs, that is what is called true federalism in all ramifications.”