House Leadership Insist Constitution Review Document Transparent

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ABUJA, April 17, (THEWILL) - As the House Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution presents the report of the Peoples’ Public Sessions held in November last year on Thursday, the House of Representatives has said the report has not been tampered with as it is widely held in certain circles.

Chairman of the sub committee on media of the constitution review committee, Hon. Eziuche Ubani who made the clarification at a briefing Wednesday explained that the fact that House decided to make the process open for public contribution shows that it has nothing to hide.

This is the second time the report, which was conducted by the House in the 360 federal constituencies of the federation, would be presented to the public.

He said all the relevant stakeholders are being carried along as they were also part of the voting process as well as collation of the results.

“I don’t know who we left out actually because from the start, we have tried to make this as inclusive as possible. We could have just kept quiet and gone ahead with the process, and carried out like we did the last time. I think we had the courage to go to the public because we don’t have anything to hide about this process. For a document like that, if you make it more inclusive, it has more legitimacy. I can assure you that this committee has not made any effort, knowingly or unknowingly to exclude any group. We believe that the more input that we have from the diverse groups, the better for Nigerians in this process," he said.

Fifteen groups have been invited to witness the event, which would be presided over by the speaker of the House, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

Ubani, who assured that today’s event would hold as scheduled, explained that the earlier postponement was because members needed time to crosscheck inputs.

“We were all there the last time this was postponed, and we heard the Speaker apologise to gentlemen and women, who had been invited and waited before the decision to postpone it was made. Again, the House has also mentioned that the committee has also expressed its regrets that the event didn’t take place that day. We’ve also had to reach out to them (invitees) to ensure that those apologies were properly accepted.

From the explanation, we’ve explained why the postponement may take place in the manner it did and so short a time. We can assure you that it’s going to hold tomorrow (Thursday) as proposed. There will be no effort to call it off tomorrow because we have made up progressions. The major thing that day was because members needed time to be able to crosscheck their inputs. We have resolved, and it will hold tomorrow,” he assured.

The invitees include: the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, expected to represent the state governors at the event, the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures Chairman (for state houses of assembly), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) president, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) president and Trade Union Congress (TUC) president.

Other are: the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) president, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) president, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) president, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) president, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) president, Nigerian Youth Council (NYC) president, representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and representatives of women organisations.