By Ahmed Kaigama
Stakeholders at the Bauchi centre of the just concluded Constitutional review have restated their support for the proposed restructuring of Nigeria through the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate and House of Representatives committee on the constitutional review on Friday rose from a two-day zonal public hearing for Bauchi, Borno and Yobe states at the Bauchi center.
Mr Jinjiri Garba, Chairman, Bauchi State Network for Civil Society Organisations (BASNEC) told NAN that time had come for the review, because the exercise had lingered for too long in the national discourse.
He said an amendment of the constitution had become imperative in the light of the tensions in the country and the fierce urgency to meet up with the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens.
“Therefore, it is right for the amendment, that is why we supported the review by submitting a memorandum to highlight certain alterations that will be addressed to some salient provisions in the Constitution that had seriously derogated the beauty of the Constitution of the country,” he said.
Mrs Jedidiah Alphonsus, Students leader at the Abubakar Tafawa University (ATBU) Bauchi, said the 1999 constitution had a lot of gaps and that needed to be addressed.
“The review of the Constitution is necessary, we are solely behind the public hearing and the review of the Constitution to address the gaps.
“Recently there have been calls from citizens for the restructuring of the country, issues of revenue , marginalisation, dominations of the minority, local government autonomy, gender equity among others,” she said.
She said there was, therefore, an urgent need to make necessary and significant adjustments to the legal framework for governing our country.
Alphonsus said all well meaning Nigerians had no other option, but to make pragmatic deliberations on the best structure to govern this country, promote its progress and ensure unity, security, welfare and prosperity of our people.
She applauded the efforts of the National assembly in making these frantic efforts to review the Constitution so that issues of the discourse would be handled.
Malam Mohammed Chiroma, the Executive Director, Grassroots Center Africa, commended the Senate for the opportunity it provided to promote constitutional reforms on issues dear to Nigerians.
He said his organisation was looking up to the members of the National Assembly to ensure that the issues raised were adopted.
Chiroma said they were also calling on the lawmakers to improve the political and socio-economic rights of women.
“As our representatives, we call on you to adopt and pass the draft bills that meet the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens,” he said. (NAN)