Monday, September 20, 2021

Restructuring Nigeria impossible without NASS input – Tambuwal

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Maryam Hassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Chairperson of PDP Governors Forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, on Monday, said current efforts at restructuring Nigeria would not achieve success if not channeled through the amendments of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly.

Mr Tambuwal was quoted as saying this while speaking at the opening plenary of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit tagged: “Building partnerships for resilience” in Abuja.

In a statement issued by the governor’s special adviser on public affairs, Abubakar Shekara, he said the nation must avoid a repeat of the mistake of 2015 when a robust attempt by the House of Representatives to amend the constitution was rejected at last minute.

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Mr Tambuwal, who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2015, said though current efforts at restructuring were good, it could only be done by constitutional amendments.

“As it were at the moment, whatever you are going to do about the constitution, has been prescribed by the constitution and how you are going to do it.

“The constitution has prescribed how a word in that constitution is going to be amended.

“Except of course we are saying we are going to jettison the National Assembly and the State Assemblies in getting it done, which is not possible,” he said.

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He said restructuring could only be done through the introduction of bills at the National Assembly, debates at the National Assembly, public hearings and getting the concurrence of the 36 State Houses of Assembly.

He said what the House of Representatives did in 2015 was to debate the issues after Nigerians had theirs.

Their views were collated and synthesised into an Act that was presented to the then President Goodluck Jonathan for assent.

The governor said previous constitutional conferences organised by ex-presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Jonathan failed because their resolutions were not translated into legislation.

“So you cannot go outside of the constitution to amend the constitution, we better come to terms with this realisation and agree to come together and agree on how best we can work together to achieve what the nation desires,” he said.

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