By Bakare Majeed
OrderPaperToday -I n what could be an endorsement of the constitution review excise by the National Assembly, the Conference of Speakers of Houses of Assembly in Nigeria has lauded the National Assembly for the work put in the first leg of the amendment process on the 1999 constitution.
According to a statement signed by the chairman of the conference and Speaker of Kebbi State House of Assembly, Ismaila Kamba, the states speakers have called for prompt delivery of the reviewed document to the state houses of assembly so as to enable them fulfill the constitutionally required 2/3 state houses of assembly.
The statement stated: “That since the National Assembly has at different stages of the debates and discussions on the amendment process involved the Conference of Speakers, it should not be too difficult for the 36 state legislative houses to proceed on the issues and revert back to the National Assembly”.
The Conference also commended the procedures adopted by the National Assembly for the excise which he enjoined all States Houses of Assembly to emulate, adding that the process when completed is going to improve governance in the country by deepening democracy.
He said further: “The Conference of Speakers is happy as the National Assembly separated the issues into different bills such that it is easy to vote on different issues in a clear manner. We will enjoin all our colleagues to borrow a leaf from that in the voting on the amendment to the constitution. Same procedure can be used by Speakers during voting on other thorny and sensitive issues that may come to our respective chambers in the future.”
He also expressed satisfaction with some of the issues in the proposed amendments: “We are also happy that issues that can help improve governance at all levels, that can strengthen the judiciary, aid the anti-corruption war of the government, entrench separation of powers, develop the legislature at the state levels and improve on the performance of the local government authorities and many important issues have been taken care of in the constitution amendment.
“With this constitution amendment, the National Assembly has prepared the ground for the emergence of a new Nigeria with a more solid democracy. The Speakers are eager to lead other state legislatures to create a better country. The NASS should quickly send the amendment documents to us so that we can play our part.”