CONSTITUTION REVIEW: GBAJABIAMILA INAUGURATES SPECIAL COMMITTEE. SAYS NIGERIA IS IN A FIGHT FOR ITS SURVIVAL

Wakeupafrica360 correspondent in Nigeria reports that the speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Gbajabiamila has on Thursday guaranteed Nigerians that the Green Chamber is committed to come up with a constitution that would address most of the current problems facing the country as a nation. The speaker emphasized the urgent need for the constitutional review process as the country is at a time of great and ongoing upheaval, with new challenges emerging daily from every corner. In his remark at the inauguration of the House of Representatives Special Ad-hoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution as amended, which is chaired by the deputy speaker, Rep. Idris Wase, the speaker said “when you ask me what the state of our nation is, the honest answer is that we are in a fight for the very survival of our country and the continuation of the Nigerian project”. He explained that recent global developments have exposed all the systematic weaknesses of the country so that it can no longer pretend that things are on an even keel and slow progress is enough to get it to where it ought to be, yet still as far away from. He urged the 9th House of Representative not to waver nor wane in their commitment on the matter of thoughtful and fair overhaul of our nation’s constitution. he said electoral reforms are a matter of our future, and the process of setting out systems and protocols for managing how we choose our leaders and representatives begin with the constitution.

Commenting on the ongoing protests #EndSARS protests, Gbajabiamila said, “in to whatever other changes that may be caused by these protests, they have exposed the stinking underbelly of our nation’s policing system. We now understand better why our federal police are often unable to effectively respond to the localised manifestations of insecurity across the different parts of our country”. Recall that the House on October 7, 2020 setup the joint committees on Justice, Human Right and Police affairs, mandated to investigate the alleged extra-judicial killing and police brutality. The chairman of the joint committees, Rep. Ugonna Ozurigbo, while addressing journalists on Thursday in Abuja said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has been invited to appear before it on Thursday, October 22 in order for the IGP to answer questions relating to the activities of men and officers of the institution. The IGP is also expected to produce a comprehensive record of disciplinary and judicial actions taken against officers accused of abuse of power in the past five years, with immediate plans for the identification and compensation of victims.

Rep. Wase Idris, the deputy speaker and chairman of the special Ad-hoc committee in his address noted that Nigeria pride herself as a federal state but sadly, it is evident that the country is far from what federalism entails. He said, “it is pertinent to note that the current 36 states of our federation were created via military decrees, hence, the true wishes and aspirations of the people were never considered in such creations. Therefore, there is need to examine the subject of state creation in such a manner as to reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people”. He further stated that the issue of federating units, local government autonomy, judicial autonomy and the issue of state police will form part of the deliberations by the ad-hoc committee. Will this constitutional review process address the numerous challenges facing the nation or will it be another waste of time and resources as the outcome of the process may be swept under the carpet as the case of the national conference organized in 2014?

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