By Mosope Kehinde

The Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Mr. Adebo Ogundoyin has addressed the opening session of a three-day retreat on Constitutional Review with a pledge that State Assemblies will support all amendments that will ensure entrenchment of true federalism in the country.

The Chairman gave the assurance on Friday at Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa-Ibom State at the retreat organised by the House of Representatives Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution.

Mr. Ogundoyin noted that some fundamental national issues such as State Police, Resource Control and Revenue Allocation, Decentralisation or Devolution of Powers to States, among others must be considered for review.

“I would like to say that we must at this time consider critical national issues in the ongoing constitutional review exercise. Though, there’s no perfect constitution anywhere and same goes with Nigeria and this is why we must continue to study and review our constitution to address contemporary challenges as well as policies or acts that draw us back.”

“I strongly believe that the leadership of the National Assembly and State Assemblies will collaborate to ensure the review of some of these issues. Let me say for the record that the conference of speakers of state legislatures strongly supports the establishment of State Police and other amendments that will promote true Federalism.” Hon. Ogundoyin.

He said the decision of the leadership of the National Assembly to kickstart the constitution review process at the first legislative session would no doubt address the delay in the passage of amended constitution.

“As Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, I want to believe my roles will be multi-dimensional in the task of reviewing the constitution especially in engaging my colleagues at State levels, the leadership of National Assembly, Governors’ forum and other critical stakeholders in stimulating discussions on some of the identified grey areas moving forward as a Nation. I will also continue to mobilize support for policies that help in repositioning our dear nation for economic growth and all development.”

Finally, I would like to say that our decisions or resolutions as parliaments at National or State Assemblies levels on the review and amendment of the Nigerian Constitution must reflect the wishes of Nigerians in order to achieve an acceptable, implementable and enforceable Constitution. Our action or inaction today shall be adjudged by our people tomorrow. The interest of our people must be paramount at the heart of every legislator and other key stakeholders in the Constitutional amendment process.”


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