Present Your Grievances Now; Senate President Tells Agitators As NASS Suspends Plenary For 1999 Constitution Review

 Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, appealed to all Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the 1999 Constitution to present their observations and propositions at a two-day public hearing next week as the upper chamber moves to amend the 1999 Constitution.

Lawan made this known during plenary in his remarks after reading a letter signed by the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, to announce the chairmanship composition to oversee the two-day public hearing across the six geo-political zones on proposals to alter the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

The zonal public hearing on proposals to alter the provisions of the 1999 constitution, according to the Senate President, would commence next week and is scheduled to hold in two centres in each of the six geo-political zones in the country, from Wednesday 26th to Thursday 27th of May, 2021.

Perceived injustice and dissatisfaction arising from some sections of the 1999 Constitution had birthed agitations and calls for a review of the 1999 Constitution. The calls for constitution review have been the loudest in Southern Nigeria with socio-political groups like the Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the vanguard of the calls. These groups believe constitutional review would allow the creation of state police, the restructuring of the country along the lines of fiscal federalism and equal distribution of resources, amongst others.

Speaking on Wednesday, Lawan, who called on such groups and all Nigerians to participate in the exercise, said it would avail Nigerians the opportunity to make submissions on any issue of interest, adding that the National Assembly on its part, would prioritise such issues to enhance the welfare and security of citizens.

He said, “Distinguished colleagues, this is a very important exercise for our country, and I’ll take this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians who have one issue or the other that they think the Constitution review of the senate should know and take note and address.

“It’s an opportunity to go to the Centre nearest to you. We are open, we are plain, we don’t have any preconceived or predetermined position on anything.

“The numerous issues that Nigerians feel should to be addressed to make Nigeria better, to make citizens secured, and enhance the welfare of our people are topmost in our consideration.

“Because of this so important assignment, by this very important Committee of the Senate, the Senate will suspend plenary throughout next week.

“This is to enable not only the committee members, but the rest of us who are not even members of the Constitution Review Committee to participate in the exercise.

“Once again, we wish our committee on the review of the constitution the best of outing, and Nigerians should take every possible opportunity to be there to present whatever they feel strongly about on how this country could be better. [And] we are welcoming every suggestion and issue.”

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