….As FCT Indigenes bemoan marginalization
By Ignatius Okorocha
Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria has sought for an amendment to impeachment procedures of Speakers’ of States House of Assembly.
This is even as original indigenes of Abuja have raised serious concern over consistent marginalization of their sons and daughters from key Federal government appointments despite court judgement.
Hon.Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly made the call in Abuja on Thursday at the National public hearing on review of the 1999 Constitution.
Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of conference of speakers of state legislatures said there was need to strengthen legislative procedures of removing a speaker.
He said the process of removing a speaker of a house assembly without fair hearing was an embarrassing situation that had always played out in Nigeria.
“The conference is proposing an amendment to section 92(c) of the constitution.
“The speakers deserve fair hearing and not for those members to come up and remove the speaker without hearing from the speaker.
“So we are calling for the procedure where the speaker should be heard and the allegation properly investigated and, if found indicted, then a speaker is removed.”
He also said the current standard on issue of financial autonomy had brought untold hardship to people hence the proposed amendment to section 123(3) to reflect implementation of financial autonomy.
“We have inserted the issue of the allocation committee for each state.
” We also provided how the accounts of the judiciary and state assemblies can be run.
“This, essentially is what the amendment that is sought for in section 123(4) by the conference of speakers,it is essentially to strengthen that institution.
“In addition to that we have also called for amendment of part 2 of the third schedule of the constitution where you have state executive bodies.
” Because the state House of Assembly Service Commission could not be included in view of the need to have autonomy in the state assemblies.
“The state house of assembly service commission need to be included in that schedule where you have state executive bodies.
“We have also proposed an amendment to chapter 1 part 2 section 5 of the Constitution calling for state police.
” We have called for a new sub-section (2C) to read that it shall be vested with power to read that their shall be vested with power to establish police and other security services under a law of the house of assembly.”
He also said the conference was also proposing devolution of power to states and local governments on issues relating to mineral resources, mining, geological survey, aviation among others.
According to him, the conference believes that there is need to strengthen the local government administration.
This, he said would enhance service delivery at the grassroots.
Dr.Oby Ezekwesili , former Minister of Education in her presentation called for a single issue amendment to the constitution to allow for a referendum by Nigerians for a deliberation for a new constitution.
“We need to center the citizens in our democracy, we need to call for a deep sense conversation,”she advised.
Meanwhile, representatives of original indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) Mr Dalhatu Ezikael Musa has lamented the exclusion of Abuja indigenes from key government positions.
He noted that the Federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to obey a court judgement that asked the Federal government to allocate a ministerial position to indigenes of FCT for the past three years.
“The constitution has said FCT should be treated like a state and we have been expecting a state structure, we have the land, we have chief judge of FCT and other potentials etc,yet we are not been arrived along on key government appointments,” he said.
According to him, “As I speak to you FCTA budget of 2021 sent to the two chambers of the National Assembly has not be passed….”