From Umar Dankano, Yola
The conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assemblies has promised to use the current efforts at amending the 1999 constitution to further strengthen the unity of the country.
Rt. Hon. Samaila Kamba, Speaker Kebbi State, who doubles as chairman of the conference of speakers of the 36 states Houses of Assemblies of the federation, has assured Nigerians that the state legislatures in the country will utilize current efforts at amending the constitution to foster the unity of the country that will bring progress and prosperity to all Nigerians.
He observed that the mood of Nigerians over the alterations of the constitutions has shown the importance Nigerians have attached to the process, adding that they will continue their deliberations on those important issues and ensure Nigerians were excited.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Kamba said the representatives of the various states support devolution of powers, but however observed that it was up to the constituents of the various state Houses of Assemblies to decide.
While calling on the National Assembly to hasten the transmission of the approved bills to the various state for their own contributions and adoptions, he noted that the state house of assemblies may not go along with the national assembly on the bill.
He also stated that the process of the amendment of the constitution by each house of assembly is expected to follow public hearing to ensure the participation of their constituencies before passage of the bill.
“Our purpose of coming to Adamawa after the state government offered to host us is to continue our normal business of running the conference and to deliberate on issues that relate to alteration of the constitution.
We shall continue to deliberate on this very important issue which all Nigerians are excited, they are hoping that this alteration of constitution will bring progress and prosperity in their lives.
Let me quickly assure all Nigerians that we will do justice to these yearnings and aspirations of our country men and women, the moment this document reaches our various offices. Right now we are urging the National Assembly to hasten transmission of the approved bills to the various state houses of assembly for our own contributions and adoption,’’ he said.
Earlier, Martins Babale, deputy governor, Adamawa state at a dinner organised for the speakers by the Adamawa state government had urged the speakers to listen to yearnings of the populace for restructuring.
“So many things are coming up on these issues of restructuring, try to observe these things and see the way out for us,” he said.
Meanwhile the Speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said the meeting of the conference of speakers did not delve into considerations of approved bills by the national assembly because it was yet to be transmitted to state legislature.
He however noted that the meeting instead addressed the format to be adopted by the various houses of assembly as regards items which has to do with devolution of powers.
“What we discussed among other things as it relates to the constitutional amendment is about the formalities to be adopted by each house of assembly in the process of passing the content of the bill as approved by the national assembly and how it should be voted for in each houses of assembly. Whether it is going to be voice vote or it is going to be by votes counted. Let me just say we dealt technically with the assignment,” he said.