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Constitution Review: Mark admonishes Senators to rise above personal interest

By The Citizen

Senate president David Mark has admonished senators to rise above their personal interest as they begin work on the review of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). He told members of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review who began a three-day retreat in Lagos yesterday that there was no fixed position on what the outcome of the exercise would be.

Mark urged his colleagues working to produce the draft-bill to consider the collective interest of Nigerians and advised that if they were fixed on any position and it was not a majority view, they should concede it to the majority view.

'Let me also remind members of this committee that whatever you come up with at the end of this retreat is still going to be subjected to debate at the floor of the Senate,' he said.

According to him, the bill would tackle a number of issues that agitated Nigerians when the Senate went round the zones to collate their views, pointing out that 'the agitation ranged from the state police, special position for Lagos to whether we should keep the National Youth Service Corps (NYS),

The Senate president however debunked insinuations that the 1999 constitution was a military creation, reminding that, 'There was a constitution drafting committee and a conference that produced the 1999 constitution.'

According to him, the problem of the Nigerian constitution is with the attitude of Nigerians involved, assuring however that the current review would not be the last, stressing that there was no need for a sovereign national conference as the National Assembly members would represent the views of their people.

Chairman of the committee and deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, said that the committee had worked hard to accommodate the views of Nigerians.