The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has said that the 9th Senate is sincere about reviewing the 1999 Constitution based on the yearnings of Nigerians.
Senator Ovie Omo- Agege stated this at the opening ceremony of the Zonal Public Hearing of the senate committe on the review of the 1999 Constitution on Wednesday in Kaduna.
The Deputy Senate President who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution said the review of the constitution should be done periodically in order to address certain topical areas.
Represented by Senator Kabiru Gaya he said Zonal hearings for the alteration of 1999 Constitution, was
holding simultaneously across all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“For those who have followed previous Constitutional Review exercises, you
may be wondering why these Zonal Hearings are coming ahead of the NationalPublic Hearing.
“The reason is not farfetched; the Senate has decided to adopt a bottom-top approach by first listening to Nigerians at the geo-political level.
According to him, this approach underscores the critical importance the Constitution Review committee places on the subnational levels of governance in Nigeria.
“You are indeed the pillar
on which the Committee’s work is to be anchored. That is why we deem it
prudent to meet with you first. In other words, this exercise is your exercise
and I implore you all to embrace and own it.
“At the commencement of this 9th Senate, we had set for ourselves a legislative agenda as a basis on which we are to be assessed. Sitting prominently in that agenda is the need to address, by way of Constitutional Amendments, topical
issues like Judicial and Electoral Reforms, Local Government Autonomy, and devolution of powers.
“You will agree with me that if we get those items through constitutional processes of alteration successfully then our Constitutional Democracy will be set on the right pedestal, and ultimately, Nigeria will take its pride of place among the enviable constitutional democracies in the world.
“It is therefore with great pleasure that I convey the intention of the Senate to
leverage on this constitutional review exercise to achieve as many milestones
as possible in one fell swoop.
“Let me also remind our fellow patriots, countrymen and women, that a
Constitution Review represents a critical phase in our development and
advancement as a nation.
“So far, we have had over two decades of
constitutional rule, under the 1999 Constitution. This is an important feat, and we commend ourselves as a country, even if we are not where we aspire to be.
“As a living document, the Constitution, and to a large extent, our constitutional
democracy, need to be reviewed from time to time. Just as in our day to day
lives, we take stock of the past and plan for the future, so it must be with the
“Indeed, this ongoing review provides a platform for the good people of Nigeria to express their opinions on the fundamental law that governs our lives through proposals that will lead to the highest good for the greatest number of