Constitutional reform: We’ll consider 2014 confab reports – Senate 


The Senate, on Wednesday, said it would consider the recommendations of the 2014 Constitutional Conference in its constitutional review process.
The Senate last week constituted a 56-man Steering and Constitution Review Committee, headed by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee, Omo-Agege said the committee will also consider Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led Committee on restructuring in carrying out the constitution review assignment.
He listed other areas to be reviewed in the constitution to include the alteration of the Sixth schedule to make provision for new items, the establishment of National and State Houses of Assembly, Pre-election Matters Tribunal, Governorship Pre-election Matters Tribunals and Presidential Pre-election Matters Tribunal, including time limits for the disposal of all pre-election matters before the conduct of the general elections.
“We will also consider the need for devolution of power, full Local Government fiscal autonomy, full autonomy of the judiciary in the area of administration of justice, youth inclusiveness in governance, gender parity or affirmative action,” he said.
The Committee will also consider inputs from stakeholders and different interest groups across the country, he added.
He said the need for constitutional reforms has become necessary because of numerous challenges facing the country.
Omo-Agege said the committee would embark on far reaching consultations with Nigerians across the six geo-political zones to aggregate their positions on current issues that require legislative action by way of Constitutional Reforms.
“Over the years our people appear to have been polarised along different fault lines which often make it impossible to reach the much-needed consensus in some critical areas where fundamental changes are required. We must guide against this if we are to succeed.
“There is thus the need for constitutional amendment that will be consistent with the agitations and aspirations of our people. This again, is the whole essence of the General Will.
“Our task would be to find a consensus through compromise in order to meet the ever-changing needs of our people. We must understand that the fact that behind our diversity are people united by common challenges of insecurity, unemployment, and a good hope for a better future, provides us with the opportunity to focus on those issues that unite us. It is only by so doing that we can guarantee success and leave for our children a better, fairer and more just Nigeria than the one we met,” he said.
He urged all stakeholders to build consensus on constitutional issues that will impact the lives of the people of our great country Nigeria.
“We must get it right for the good of our people and the unity of our great country. The Nigerian people deserve no less,” he said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged the committee to ensure that inputs and outputs are not just exhaustive, but should also be wide ranging and effective.

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