Ekweremadu Heads 46-Man Senate C’ttee On Constitution Review

Ike EkweremaduSenate President Bukola Saraki yesterday inaugurated a 46-man Constitution Review Committee with a promise that the committee would live up to the expectations of Nigerians.

The committee, to be headed by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, is made up of 27 senators from the majority All Progressives Congress (APC), while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is represented by 19 senators.

Saraki mandated the committee, which is billed to begin work immediately, to conclude its assignment one year before the conduct of 2019 general elections.

“Having acknowledged the immense work of the 7th National Assembly under the fourth alteration bill, the Senate expects you to swiftly consolidate the the alteration bill for passage as it has already garnered national consensus. We expect that within the next few days you will forward the consolidated bill, have it gazetted and forwarded for first reading.

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“The Senate expects that a good liaison is forged early enough with the House of Representatives’ Committee on this all important project, with a view to reducing areas of disagreements and conflicts. It is equally crucial that all stakeholders’ opinions are fully considered especially the Executive.

“Let me reemphasis the need for prudence and efficiency. This is not time for jamboree tours or unnecessary flamboyance. While acknowledging the need for a very comprehensive and exhaustive review of the proposal, it won’t be an excuse for excessive elaboration and endless retreats.

“Nigerians expect that this is not going to end without result. More than what has been done in the past, we must make a difference. It is our hope that this assignment can be completed by end of June 2016”, Senate President Saraki said.

In his response, Senator Ekweremadu, who chaired a similar exercise in the 7th Senate, said lessons learned from the last constitution amendment will guide the committee in the discharge of its duty.

The deputy Senate president, however, expressed regrets that former President Goodluck Jonathan failed to assent to the Fourth Alteration Bill passed by the 7th National Assembly, even as he noted that the exercise was in accordance with the wishes of Nigerians.

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