By Salisu Sani-Idris
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, says submissions seeking amendments to the 1999 Constitution should be guided by the principles of national unity, patriotism and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians.
Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the minister in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said Bello made the call in his goodwill message to the National Public Hearing by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, held in Abuja.
He equally urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity provided by the exercise to strengthen national bond and cohesion.
“The strength of our country lies in the diversity and dynamism of her people. We should seize the opportunity provided by this exercise to strengthen our common bond as a people and guarantee the growth and development of our country.”
The minister prayed for amendments to certain sections of the constitution which would amongst others, bring governance closer to the people and also guarantee funding for the development of the FCT.
He also sought amendment to section 7 of the constitution, proposing the inclusion of a new sub-section immediately after Section 7(5) to read as follows:
” A: (6) The functions to be conferred by law upon the Area Councils may include those set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Constitution and, where so conferred, shall be performed outside the Federal Capital City (FCC) and such areas as may be designated from time to time by the minister in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
” The justification for this is that Section 7 (5) as presently constituted, gives room for duplicity of roles, conflicts and mismatches in planning, provision of infrastructure and service delivery in the FCT.”
Bello explained that the amendment would address various arising challenges between the FCTA and the area councils.
Bello, stated that collaboration between the FCTA and the area councils was necessary because the FCT was a planned modern project with a centralised planning system, cohesive infrastructural coordinates and interconnected engineering designs. (NAN)