By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has assured that the National Assembly will expand the political space for youth and women in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
Omo-Agege stated this in Abuja when he hosted a delegation of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, led by Archbishop (Prof.) David Irefin.
Omo-Agege who doubles as Chairman, Senate Adhoc Committee on Constitution Review, also called on religious leaders to continue to pray for the country.
While commending Nigerians for their resilience, the Delta Central lawmaker urged them to strive towards maintaining the oneness of the country
He also explained his rationale for sponsoring a constitution alteration bill which seeks to reserve 30 percent of appointments for youth and women at the federal and state level.
Titled, “A Bill For An Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to specify the minimum number of youths and women appointed as Ministers, Ambassadors and State Commissioners”, the proposal has passed Second Reading and is currently before the Omo-Agege-led panel for further legislative work.
Specifically, it amends Sections 147 and 171 of the Constitution by mandating the President to appoint at least five ministers, ambassadors or high commissioners under the age of 40.
Similarly, the proposed legislation alters Section 192 of the Constitution by providing that “There shall be such offices of Commissioners of the Government of the State as may be established by the Govemor of the State, of which (a) At least five Commissioners shall not be more than the age of forty years at the time of appointment; and (b) At least five shall be women.”
According to the legislator, if the bill is passed and signed into law, it will not only expand the political space for Nigerian youth but also give them a sense of belonging.
His words: “For us in the National Assembly who are members of the Constitution Review Committee, we are also looking at those areas that require constitution amendment to bring the youth on board into governance. Because we believe that it is best for them to be making the desired change from the inside and take decisions themselves as opposed to being on the streets and protesting.”