Constitution amendment: Speakers push for State Police, lament worsening insecurity
Makinde Wants Robust Debate On Resource Control, Others
The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria has directed its Committee on Constitution Amendment to liaise with the National Assembly to ensure a reconsideration of state policing.
In a communique issued after the First Quarter General Meeting of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria in Ibadan, yesterday, the Conference Chairman and Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, said that states’ Houses of Assembly would kick-start the process to ratify the resolution of the National Assembly on the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
While speaking during the opening ceremony of the meeting took a further look at the proposed amendments to guide the participants on their final legislative role of ratifying the resolution of the National Assembly.
The conference acknowledged the disturbing dimension that insecurity in the country has taken today, a development it said constitutes a serious threat not only to the economic growth and development of the country but also to the peace and unity of the nation.
In his welcome address, the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, said that the meeting would afford the speakers ample opportunity to discuss, garner more knowledge, and x-ray emerging issues from the alterations of the constitution as they relate to them as state legislatures.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, in a keynote address entitled, “Imperatives of Constitutional Amendments,” Makinde called for robust debate on resource control, state police, and other important issues that have dominated national conversations.
Governor Makinde, who urged the legislators to pay closer attention to some of the neglected conversations around constitutional amendments, said: “The various agitations that have rocked our nation over the years, including the more recent #EndSARS protests and the rise of banditry and terrorism, are all reasons for the legislature to pay closer attention to some of the neglected conversations around constitutional amendments and reforms.
Makinde said: “Yes, each new Assembly embarks on constitutional amendments, but the major reforms that will finally address many of the concerns that Nigerians have regarding how our nation works are often ignored.
“These conversations have become like the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it’s there, but no one wants to acknowledge it. But the thing about elephants is that they can’t be ignored for too long, they will move, and when they move, we will be forced to confront them.
“We don’t have to wait to be forced to take action. “Actions that are taken under pressure and without due consultation often fail to accomplish desired objectives. And so, it is high time the twin issues of resource control and state police are subjected to robust debate at the Legislature.