The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), has said the ongoing Constitution alteration will not entertain ‘debate on unity of Nigeria.’
The lawmaker, who represents Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State, said the House will rather focus on devolution of powers and restructuring.
He stated this at the South-south zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution in Asaba, Delta State, on Thursday.
There have been increasing agitations by some parts of Nigeria to secede from the country.
In the South-east, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been demanding a referendum on breakaway.
The group, which has been proscribed by the federal government, has already established a militant wing known as the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to further its agitation.
In the South-west, the call for the creation of Oduduwa Country is currently being championed by Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.
No debate on secession
Mr Elumelu said the legislature would not consider any proposal on the unity and corporate existence of the country.
“It is however imperative to state that nothing in this exercise gives room for any question on the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria as one indivisible nation,” the lawmaker said.
“The public hearing and desired amendments, rather than detract from our national cohesiveness, are aimed at consolidating our national unity by ensuring a stronger federal system with greater participation of citizens in governance at all levels.
“I, therefore, urge all stakeholders and participants to come up with progressive submissions and recommendations that will engender stronger national unity and greater productivity.
The minority leader said the public hearing would welcome suggestions on restructuring and devolution of powers and other issues that enhance good governance and development of the country.
He said, “We desire suggestions that will bring clarity to the concept of restructuring as being demanded. What items should be devolved from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List? What is acceptable resource control and revenue sharing prescription with regard to the agitations of sub-national units under a fiscal federalism?
“Are there items that should be under the exclusive control of the state and even local government? What provisions are more appropriate for resource producing communities?
READ ALSO: Constitution Review: Senate Committee to revisit failed proposals in previous exercises – Omo-Agege
“On elections; what type of decentralised electoral system is desirable in a federal system like ours. Which elections should be under the state and which should be under federal purview? What is the role of the armed forces in our elections?
“Furthermore, what are the practical modalities for state creation, acceptable state policing, civil service system, land use, control and ownership; judiciary jurisdiction, taxation and other subjects of agitation among sub-national units? What statutory recognition can be accorded to the traditional institutions and what appropriate roles can be prescribed for traditional rulers?
“These and many more are serious issues that require concerted consideration.”
The House Special Committee on Constitution Review is conducting zonal public hearing across the country
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...