Lawan begs El-Rufai to persuade govs over stalled Constitution review
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has urged Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, to prevail on his colleagues to persuade their state Houses of Assembly to transmit responses on Constitution amendment.
The National Assembly, in March, passed 44 bills to amend some key provisions of the 1999 Constitution and transmitted the same to the 36 states for their endorsement or otherwise.
The process requires the endorsement of not less than two-third of the 36 Houses for any of the bills to sail through. However, far less than half of the states are believed to have transmitted their responses.
Despite N1 billion approved for the amendment, only 11 state legislatures considered and voted on the 44 amendment bills. They are: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun and Osun. Twenty-five others failed to consider the bills.
The states threatened to take no action until four more amendment bills were considered and passed, including establishment of state police and state judicial council.
The Senate President spoke while declaring open the Distinguished Parliamentarians Lecture 2022, organised by National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
The lecture was delivered by Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. Lawan told El-Rufai, who chaired the occasion: “We will task you to lobby for us. We have sent (to the states) the outcome of our Constitution review and we are yet to receive all from the states.
“We should be able to wind up this process by getting responses from the state Houses of Assembly. Even if it is one month left, we have the capacity for working together to ensure that we pass some of the legislations that are required in a very expeditious manner. Lobby your governor colleagues because I can see that you do that very well.”
Meanwhile, El-Rufai called for an enabling environment on the creation of state police, arguing that the move is in tandem with international best practices.
The governor said it behooves the National Assembly to address the matter, as was the case when the native police system was operational in the country.