The Deputy President of the Senate and chairman, Senate Adhoc Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has called on Nigerians, who have sent in their memoranda to the committee, to put pressure on State Assemblies to do the right thing.
Omo-Agege also said that the constitution review committee was not under any form of pressure from external forces to do their biddings.
The Deputy Senate President spoke at the weekend on a current affairs programme on a Lagos-based TVC, ‘The Platform’ anchored by newspaper columnist, Sam Omatseye.
He said that against the backdrop of public perception that State Assemblies are rubber stamps of governors, there was a need for the people to mount pressure on the legislators to do the right when constitution amendment proposals are sent to them for voting.
Omo-Agege, however, noted that all the 36 governors are unanimous about more powers leaving the Exclusive to Concurrent Legislative List of the constitution.
“It is our belief that it behoves on the electorate to mount the requisite pressure on their House of Assembly members.
“In any event, we are also going to be liaising very seriously with the Speakers of the various Houses of Assembly. So before the final vote is taken, we will be able to have a feel of where we are. And if it requires some lobbying of the state governors, so be it.
“I don’t know of any governor in this country today who doesn’t subscribe to the idea that the contents of the Exclusive Legislative List is not too cumbersome and there is need to do some shedding of weight. I am sure practically all governors will subscribe to that. So, we can have some of these powers devolve to the states,” he stated.
He also assured that the panel would not kill any of the constitution alteration Bills before it, promising that they would all be recommended for consideration and that the Senate in plenary would determine whether or not such proposals should be transmitted to State Assemblies for ratification or not.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to take advantage of the window given by the committee for ‘Call for Memoranda’ to submit their proposals on any of the 13 thematic areas to the panel.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the committee had last week, extended the deadline for submission of memoranda from September 11 to September 25, 2020.
The Delta Central lawmaker disclosed that besides the constitution alterations Bills already referred to the panel, more proposals could surface on the floor, arising from memoranda submitted to the committee.
“Any Nigerian who feels strongly about any issue that ought to be addressed in this exercise, has a right within the time stipulated to put their thoughts in writing by way of a memo and submit same to us.
“Upon receipt of that, we will meet as a committee, set up some sub-committees within the main committee that will go to each of the geopolitical zones. There they will reach out and ask people to step forward and speak to the memo that they have already submitted to us.
“Thereafter, we will come back, hold a retreat where we will aggregate the views of the content of the memoranda. And in some cases come up with more Bills. This committee will try not to kill any Bill. We will rather have all Bills go to the floor at plenary and let the Nigerian people, speaking through their elected representatives, make the call
as to whether or not those Bills should pass.
“Thereafter, we will go to the various Houses of Assembly to see ifbthose votes can also muster two-thirds majority of the 36 Assemblies. From there, we receive and transmit the successful Bills to Mr President for assent,” Omo–Agege said.
Senator Warn Against Division In Adamawa APC
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Sen. Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani, yesterday advised leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa against
She said despite the fact that APC is no longer in power in the state, members should continue to meet to keep the party stronger.
She also asked the state chapter of APC to support Governor Mai Mala Buni’s National Caretaker Committee.
Sen. Aishatu made the submissions, when she led a delegation of the Adamawa APC National Assembly Caucus on a courtesy visit to the state Chairman of the party, Alh. Ibrahim Bilal.
She said the state APC should not allow divisive elements to have their way. She said: “At the State level, the party should also be seeing to be active (i.e. our office must always remain open);
“We shall soon embark on state wide memberships drive, as arrangements to that effect are being worked out by the National Caretaker Committee.
“We must maintain strong bond of unity and not to allow rumors and divisive elements to create problems for us.”
She said the Caucus was ready to keep the party united in the state. She added: “APC NASS caucus made up of my colleagues from the House of Representatives and my humble self from the Senate came to discuss strategies, ways and means to forge ahead for our party and to also re-assure you that we shall continue to liaise with the Mai Mala Buni National Caretaker Committee on all issues of the party in Adamawa State.
“Those of us here are the genuine elected leaders of the party in Adamawa State. It is our responsibility to keep the party flag flying high and to also keep party activities alive, in order not to lose members to other parties.
“In addition to the occasional intervention by members of NASS in executing programmes or activities, there is the need for party organs at various levels in the state from Ward to Local Government levels from time to time to keep meetings going and discussing matters affecting the party.
“Whenever there are issues that require the notice of National Caretaker Committee, please do not hesitate to bring it to our attention, so that we can promptly handle it together with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and our ministers.”
On his part, the state APC chairman, Bilal assured that he will continue to give a sense of belonging to all party members. 17 family members abducted in Kaduna Twenty-one people, including 17 family members, have been abducted from Udawa village in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state.
The abductions took place in two separate incidents over the weekend. Liman Hussaini, a community leader in Udawa who confirmed the incident, said unknown gunmen stormed the area and started shooting sporadically, leaving several persons injured.
According to Hussaini, four people were kidnapped on Friday, while 17 others were abducted on Saturday on their way to the farm at about 7am.
Four other relatives of the family members who were abducted on Saturday were rushed to a hospital in Kaduna, following injuries sustained during the attack.
“Yesterday, a family of 21 were going to the farm, but about one and a half kilometres away from home, they were attacked by gunmen. Four of them sustained serious injuries from gunshots while 17 of them were abducted,” he said.
“Also, on Friday, at about 7am, four people were abducted while on their way to the farm.
“You know there is serious hunger. People are finding it very difficult to feed, but now that the maize is done, many families depend on it to feed. We have started harvesting maize which we use for feeding because there is no food.
“The head of this family of 21 was riding on a bike with one of his sons and two daughters to the farm when the bandits opened fire on them after abducting 17 members of the family.
“The man was shot on the leg; the son was shot in the mouth. One of the daughters was shot on the chest; the other daughter was shot on the hand. The four of them were taken to a hospital in Kaduna.”
Hussaini added that although security personnel are stationed in Udawa, “by the time they got to the scene of the incident, the bandits had escaped to the bushes with their victims.”
Mohammed Jalige, spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, could not be reached for reaction on the incident at the time of this report, as his mobile phone was switched off.