Fashola tells Senate constitution committee to grant Lagos ‘special status’

President of the Senate, David Mark

 The constitution review hold in all six geo-political zones of the country.

The Senate constitution review for the South-West geo-political zone kicked off at the Lagos Airport Hotel in Ikeja, the Lagos State Capital.

The exercise by the senate is being done in all the six geo-political zones of the country.

At the review session in Lagos, the Senate President, David Mark, said that the National Assembly has no hidden agenda in the on-going 1999 constitution review sessions.

“The senate will consider every view presented at the sessions in the amendment of the constitution,” Mr. Mark said. “There are so many arguments and we may not take them all in one single sweep.

He said constitutional amendments were a continuous exercise and that the National Assembly would revisit the constitution as often as possible when necessary.

The senate president urged the participants to make security and development issues their priority during the deliberations.

“Any amendment that will improve security and bring development closer to the people should be top priority,” he said.

According to him, the essence of the sessions is to get Nigerians to participate fully in the amendment so that the National Assembly can take out the “military”, for a people’s constitution.

Give Lagos special status

In his keynote address, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, sought a special status for the state because of its strategic importance to the nation.

“If Lagos does not prosper, prosperity will be difficult for other parts of Nigeria,” Mr. Fashola said.

Mr. Mark said that requests for Lagos to be granted a special status is not a decision for him alone to take.

The governor also advocated that states should have their own police and be allowed total control, management and creation of local government areas.

Mr. Fashola, however, noted that the constitution itself was not an end, but a means to an end.

“What Nigerians really want is not just a better document, but a better life,” he said.

In his welcome address, Ganiyu Solomon, Chairman of the senate committee session for the south-west, who represents Lagos West Senatorial district, said that the Senate had no pre-determined agenda.

“We will apply ourselves to the agenda you have set for us,” he said. “The senate will not be distracted or intimidated by propaganda because no one person or group is greater than Nigeria.”

Issues on the agenda for the review session include devolution of powers, creation of state police, role of traditional rulers in the constitution, revenue allocation, special status for Lagos, and ‘mayorial’ status for Abuja.

Attendees at the event include the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Albert Adewale, Adegbenga Kaka and Gbenga Ashafa.

Also at the event were Senators Sola Adeyeye, Boluwaji Kunlere and Olufemi Lanlehin.

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