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Published On: Wed, Oct 29th, 2014

State Speakers vow to veto govs on constitution amendments

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

The Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, under the umbrella of Speakers Conference, has promised that the state lawmakers would consider the proposed amendments in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution without entertaining any intimidation or interferences from their respective governors as witnessed in the past.

This is even as the Senate President, David Mark, and his House of Representatives counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, yesterday at a brief ceremony, handed over the National Assembly proposed amendments in the 1999 Constitution to the Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly for consideration by the state lawmakers.

Speaking yesterday shortly after they were handed over the copies of the proposed amendments in the 1999 Constitution, the Chairman of the Speakers Conference, Samuel Ikon, said the state lawmakers clearly understand the role they are supposed to play, which according to him, is to ratify the resolutions of the National Assembly.

“Constitutionally, though the roles requiring state legislatures are to ratify the resolutions of the National Assembly. We can only assure Nigerians that we shall play our roles to produce the constitution that will reflect the needs of the people devoid of fears and influences”, Ikon, who is the Speaker of Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, said.

“We are determined to show our will to support changes that we have found in the course of our democracy. Reference has been made to the issue of financial autonomy to states, let me plead that we forget the past. This issue, for us today, remains yes, yes, yes answer”, he added.

He commended the National Assembly for championing the course of people oriented constitution by introducing completely a new dimension involving the people at the grassroots by organizing public hearing which was to decentralise the process and make the people to contribute their impute freely.

Speaking earlier, Senate President, David Mark, said the National Assembly Joint Committee on Constitution Amendment arrived at the proposed amendments after organising regional public hearings to get views of Nigerians on the areas that needed to be amended in the 1999 Constitution so as to engender good governance.

He said it is not right to have caretakers running the local governments in the 21st century democracy, hence the National Assembly proposed to make the local governments a third tire of government. He therefore urged the state lawmakers to make sacrifices while considering the proposed amendments to ensure that government is brought closer to the people.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, charged the state lawmakers to do their best to meet the needs of the people while considering the proposed amendments.

While regretting that previously, the state lawmakers truncated the efforts by the National Assembly to give them financial Autonomy, Tambuwal charged them to endeavour to get it right this time around by prioritizing the interest of the people.


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