From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Traditional rulers in Kogi State have suggested the inclusion of their roles in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as 2nd Vice to the President, Governor and Local Council Chairman.
The Chairman of Olamaboro Traditional Council of Kogi state, HRH Ujah Simon Saidu, who represented the Kogi State Council of Chiefs at the two-day public hearing on the review of the constitution by the National Assembly Committee, on Tuesday in Lokoja, advocated for the reintroduction of a residual list in the constitution that will pave way for their full participation in governance.
According to him the proposal, which he said will create a ‘quasi-democracy’, will give the traditional rulers the responsibilities of handling peace and security matters under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism or a national agency for peace and security.
On power devolution, the traditional rulers declared support for a confederation system as a valuable option for a progressive and fast-growing country.
Sani urged the National Assembly to ensure equity in their report to grant the North Central region political and economic autonomy in the constitution.
He alleged that some Nigerians have conspired to hold down the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company, simply because it is the greatest asset for the nation’s wealth, industrialisation and pride.
The monarch cited an example of such conspiracy and sabotage, accusing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, of preventing Russian steel experts from coming to Kogi State to complete the abandoned complex that has been adjudged 90 per cent completed.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has meanwhile called on the National Assembly to retain Labour and the National Minimum Wage on the Exclusive Legislative List as currently listed under the Second Schedule Part 1 (34) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Kogi State Chairman of the NLC, Kogi State Chapter, Onuh Edoka, made the demand while presenting a 72-page memorandum on behalf of the Nigerian Labour Congress at a two-day review/public hearing on the constitutional amendment by the committee on constitution review Public hearing, North Central Public hearing holding in Lokoja.
Edoka also said that the Nigerian workers want the retention of the general administration of pension as currently captured in Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution and as listed under Second Schedule Part | (34) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Other demands as listed in the submission of the Kogi State NLC Chairman on behalf of Nigerian workers include the demands for the full realisation of local government autonomy, legislative autonomy and autonomy for the judiciary arm of government.
The Kogi State NLC Chairman wants the National Assembly to consider the workers’ submissions on strengthening and promoting socio-economic and cultural rights of Nigerians especially as captured under Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution under review.