Senate disagrees with northern elders on constitution review

The Senate, on Monday, disagreed with the position of the Northern Elders Forum on its planned review of the nation’s constitution.

 The Publicity Secretary of the NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, had at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday described the planned constitution review as an unnecessary jamboree.

The northern elders said rather than wasting the nation’s resources on an exercise that would end up as a waste like the earlier ones, the 9th Senate should support the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to fight banditry and insurgency in the North.

But reacting to the NEF position on Monday, the Senate, through its spokesperson, Dr Ajibola Basiru, said the planned constitution review was necessary and desirable.

The upper chamber also challenged the northern elders to send in their memorandum on the insecurity to the committee on constitution review for necessary legislative actions.

Basiru said, “Even though they (NEF) are entitled to their views, the question to ask is: does it mean that if former legislatures cum executive (administrations) have possibly or allegedly failed in this regard, then it can never be achieved?

“Their statement even implied an agreement by them that there is a need for fundamental restructuring which is the purpose of the present endeavour of the 9th National Assembly.

“Their views can be encapsulated in a memorandum to the Constitution Review Committee.

“The thematic areas advertised for constitutional reforms cut across some of the concerned they raised and therefore, we shall be glad to engage them through proper legislative channel rather than news media.”

Also, the representative of Ekiti South Senatorial District in the nation’s parliament, Senator Biodun Olujimi, told journalists on Monday that NEF was wrong by saying the ongoing constitution review efforts would end up as a jamboree because of what happened in the past was nothing to write home about.

Olujimi said, “We made some impact the last time. That was where we got autonomy for the states Houses of Assembly and the judiciary. If we make small strides, you will find out that in no time these alterations will be almost done. Except we keep striving to do them, they will just linger and nothing will be done.”

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