This is the last independence celebration for the 9th Senate. Amending the 1999 constitution was a top legislative agenda of the Ahmad Lawan led Senate.
Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege is heading the constitution amendment with a N500 million budget.
In their first press conference announcing the commencement of the constitution amendment by the 9th assembly addressed by Omo-Agege, a question was asked if the process will be a jamboree.
The question was coming on the fact that since 2003, every assembly conducted a constitution amendment but only one was signed into law.
One billion has been budgeted for the process each legislative year since its commencement in 2003.
While Omo-Agege was getting his footing in debunking the insinuation that the constitution amendment might be a jamboree, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan dismissed claims that the exercise to amend the 1999 Constitution embarked on by both chambers of the National Assembly is waste of time and a jamboree.
During a press conference to mark the second anniversary of the ninth Senate held at the National Assembly complex, Abuja the Nation’s capital, Lawan assured that the National Assembly’s commitment to genuinely accomplish the amendment task is high.
Since the constitution amendment bills got to the State House of Assemblies in March 2022, nothing has been heard about it. In fact the much needed local government autonomy seems to have hit a dead end while the other 43 bills, nothing has been heard about it.
The Southern Senators’ Forum has asked the State Houses of Assembly across the nation to expedite action on the Review of the 1999 Constitution as transmitted to them by the National Assembly.
According to the Southern Senators, returning the worked document to the national assembly will be an Independence anniversary gift to Nigerians.
But the state assembly members have not been sitting.
The Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, said he is optimistic that most of the challenges facing the nation will be a thing of the past if the salient report becomes law.
Bamidele also urged Nigerians to be optimistic about the future of the nation, notwithstanding the enormity of our current challenges, adding that there is yet light at the end of the tunnel if we have faith in God and take the much needed steps.
He pointed out that just like the political office holders and public servants in general, every citizen has a role to play in the nation building process and with determination, faith and persistence, Nigerians will surely witness a new Nigeria which is headed for growth and development and that is devoid of violence, hostilities, and acrimony.
The statement reads, “ As we celebrate 62nd Independence anniversary of our great nation, I will like to implore the State Houses of Assembly across the Federation to expedite action on the passage of the Review of the 1999 Constitution as transmitted to them by the National Assembly, because some of the problems facing the people of Nigeria are already being addressed in the amendment draft transmitted to the State Houses Assembly.
“ The speedy passage of the amendment will serve as the most cherished and memorable anniversary gift you can give to the electorates who reposed confidence in you by voting you as their representatives in the Houses Assembly.
“ We must also know that the process of nation building is a collective responsibility of both the leaders and followers in order for us to have the nation of our desire and Nigerians should continue to hope for greater future and with determination, faith and persistence, Nigerians will surely see a nation devoid of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, ethnic hostilities and acrimony, “ Bamidele said.
As the 9th assembly is winding down, we await to see how the constitution amendment by the 9th National Assembly won’t be a jamboree.
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