Thursday, 7 December 2017

Southwest states united on constitution amendment


South West states will adopt a common position on the proposed amendment to the constitution, the governors said yesterday.

Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to ratify their common stance on all the issues billed for amendment.
The National Assembly last month transmitted the items it is proposing for amendments to the state houses of Assembly.
Two-thirds of the 36 Assemblies –which is 24  -must concur on any particular issue before it could be accepted.
The National Assembly will then transmit such items for President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent after which they become laws.
According to the programme, the Assemblies are expected to submit their records of votes on the items to the National Assembly in the first quarter of next year.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues after the meeting, said the Yoruba is one with the same destiny, hence party politics would not be allowed to divide them on such an issue.
He said: “As you can see, all of us are one from Oduduwa. All of us, being brothers, are presenting the same position on matters that are of common interest of all of us and we are doing it together.
“If you are talking about specific issues, one of the issues that we tried to look at is the issue of constitution (amendment). There are many things that we have endorsed, but it is so clear to us that there is more on the issue of amendment of the constitution.
“And as expected, we know what will be our interest.
“So, we want to send a common position to our Houses of Assembly and other stakeholders who we believe can come along with us on the issues that we have agreed on, that we believe that are of our common interest.”
But Akeredolu did not disclose the position taken by the governors on the issues to be amended.’
The National Assembly Constitution Review Committee formulated 33 bills out of which 29 were passed. Four were rejected.
The four rejected critical proposals are: devolution of power to states, deletion of Land Use Act from the constitution, state creation and boundary adjustment and 35 per cent affirmative action for women.
Also rejected was the recommendation to alter Section 25 of the Constitution to guarantee a married woman’s right to choose either her indigeneship by birth or by marriage for the purposes of appointment or election.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he will be willing to assent the Constitution Amendment Bill whenever it is transmitted to him by the legislature.

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