- Senator Uba Sani has explained the significance of the ongoing public hearing of the review of the 1999 constitution
- The lawmaker said on Thursday, May 27, in Kaduna, that the current constitution of Nigeria is outdated and that it should be reviewed
- According to him, the hearing would give all Nigerians equal opportunity to address the grey areas in the existing law of the land
The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central at the Senate, Malam Uba Sani, has said that the ongoing public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution is a good opportunity to make input in remaking Nigeria into a country where peace and justice will reign.
Legit.ng reports that while giving a remark after the first sitting of the Senate committee on the review of the constitution of the northwest zone at Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kaduna, Sani said it was fireworks on all the contentious issues, even though the atmosphere was friendly and business-like.
The senator urged the participants to continue to exhibit the same level of enthusiasm throughout the exercise, noting that Governor Nasir El-Rufai set the tone for frank, no-holds-barred discussions on day one of the public hearing.
He said the governor drew attention to the serious challenges facing the nation, saying that the country is facing one of its most trying times.
The governor was quoted:
"Across the country, citizens harbour widespread fears and anxiety about their security. Insecurity has created a febrile atmosphere, worsened by a barrage of extreme rhetoric, ethnic profiling, and fake news that seeks to exploit the distress, pains and misery of our people to further separatist and divisive ends."
Uba stated that participants, and indeed Nigerians across the country need consensus on constitutional and political arrangements that prioritize security, democracy and progress.
What Governor El-Rufai said
The senator further quoted El-Rufai:
"He said this should include agreement on a commitment to the rule of law and quick dispensation of justice; common citizenship, respect for diversity and protection of citizenship rights guaranteed by the constitution; meritocracy and equal opportunity for all citizens without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender or circumstances of birth.
"Prioritization of human development, particularly free basic education and healthcare for all; devolution of powers to states and local governments to attain true federalism, engender competition between sub-nationals and focus the federal government to effectively deliver on matters of national defence, security, foreign policy and macroeconomic management."
Need for federalism
Speaking on the kernel of El-Rufai's submission, the senator explained that there was the need to put the substance of federalism into our country, beyond bearing the name of a federation to attain true federalism is to empower the sub-nationals.
The governor's submission went further:
"I had the privilege of chairing the APC committee on true federalism. We proposed significant devolution of powers between the national government and the 36 states in our recommendations, including the transfer of ten items from the exclusive to the concurrent list, so that they fall under the control of the states and the federal government.
"In my intervention at the public hearing, I drew the attention of the participants to some critical issues which must be resolved through a constitutional amendment in the interest of peace and democratic sustenance. We must prioritize creation of state police, judicial and legislative autonomy, as well as local government autonomy."
Senator Sani also told the public hearing that as it currently stands, the nation's constitution was outdated.
Kaduna should be split
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) and its northern counterpart agreed to the split of Kaduna into two new states.
It was reported that Jonathan Asake, president of the SOKAPU, made this known during a presentation and defence of their memos at the Senate ad-hoc committee and the House of Reps special committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution at the judiciary.
Asake said the wish of Southern Kaduna is to have a brand new constitution, not an amended one.