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Monday, May 20, 2024

House of Representatives plans revisitation of constitution amendments dropped by past administrations

Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu announces scrutiny of previously rejected alterations in a bid to address national concerns and foster inclusive governance.

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During a joint retreat for the secretariats and consultants to the Senate and House Committees on the review of the constitution, Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu unveiled plans to reassess proposed alterations to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that had encountered roadblocks in the past.

Highlighting the imperative of collaboration among consultants, Kalu emphasized the need to harmonize efforts in the ongoing constitution review exercise. He underscored the significance of revisiting previous amendment proposals, particularly those that resonated with the Nigerian populace but faced obstacles either at the parliamentary or presidential level.

In a statement by Special Assistant on Press Affairs, Udora Orizu, Kalu elucidated, “This retreat will provide a platform for the secretariat and experts to review previous amendment proposals, especially those that were popular among Nigerians but were either not passed by the national/state Assemblies or were not assented to by the President. It would also consider how those issues can be reintroduced with a view to providing methods of processing them or an action plan that will ensure that reservations that led to their rejection are addressed.”

Asserting the inclusive nature of the constitution alteration process, Kalu stressed the importance of soliciting input from all segments of Nigerian society. He identified contentious issues such as state police and special seats for women as focal points requiring thorough deliberation and public engagement.

“As experts in your various fields of endeavor, I trust your judgments and I trust that the outcome of this exercise will move Nigeria forward,” Kalu expressed, affirming his confidence in the expertise of the consultants assembled for the task.

The impending constitution amendment exercise, occurring amidst national agitations, aims to foster a platform for robust national engagement and dialogue. Kalu envisages this process as an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to contribute recommendations that reflect the evolving moral, economic, and political values of the Nigerian populace.

Under the leadership of Kalu, the committee has commenced the acceptance of memoranda from Nigerians on critical governance issues, including restructuring, rotational presidency, local government autonomy, state police, and mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory. As the nation embarks on this constitutional journey, the House of Representatives seeks to uphold the principles of transparency, inclusivity, and responsiveness to the aspirations of its citizens.

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