Faced with the spectre of the National Assembly’s constitutional review process being a jamboree and a waste of public resources, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, is cap in hand to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai, pleading with him to get his governor-colleagues to pressure their state Houses of Assembly to get back to the federal legislature with their responses on the bills for review sent to them.
Not less than a billion Naira has been spent by the federal lawmakers on this round of review process, which many political observers believe has no ground-breaking provision to correct the fundamental faultlines in the country’s existence.
And it is one of these recurrent faultlines the state legislative houses want dealt with: the establishment of states-controlled police.
Last March, the Federal lawmakers passed 44 Bills to amend the 1999 constitution and transmitted them to the 36 states for their endorsement or otherwise as part of the constitutional amendment process.
The process requires the endorsement of not less than two-third of the 36 State Houses of Assembly but only about 11 have have so far transmitted their responses back.
Those that have done so are Katsina, Kogi, Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia, Akwa Ibom, and Anambra.
Recall that many of State lawmakers insisted they won’t work on tthe44 bills except the issues of the establishment of state police, and the state judicial council, among others, were considered for their endorsement.
Political observers strongly suspect the state lawmakers are doing the bidding of their governors, who seek more powers than given to them by the present constitution.
Declaring open the Distinguished Parliamentarians Lecture 2022 by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies(NILDS), the Senate President pleaded with el Rufai, who was present: “We will task you to lobby for us. We have sent (to the states) the outcome of our constitution review and we are yet to receive all from the states. so we should be able to wind up this process by getting responses from the state Houses of Assembly.
“Even if it is one month left, we have the capacity, working together, to ensure that we pass some of the legislations that are required in a very expeditious manner.
“Lobby your Governor colleagues because I can see that you do that very well.”