1999 constitution amendment ‘ll strengthen democracy -Akeredolu

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The ongoing constitutional amendment will strengthen democracy and bring good governance to Nigeria.

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said this while playing host to the members of a group known as Friends of Democracy on the constitutional amendment in his office, Akure.

Akeredolu, who spoke through his Deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, explained that after the constitutional amendment must have been completed and when passed into law would not only strengthen the system, but also strengthen democracy in the interest of the people.

He stressed the need to guide the process carefully, so that the constitutional amendment, particularly on pre-election matters, will strengthen the judicial arm of government to fast-track justice delivery system  and removal of force from the name of Nigeria Police Force to make the police more civil for the betterment of the country.

The Governor also stressed the need for the public to be carried along in the amendment process through the engagement of the State Houses of Assembly for true federalism to be achieved.

Earlier, the leader of the team, Senator Olorunmbe Mamora, disclosed that 23 amendments have been passed by the National Assembly for consideration.

While stating 19 out of the 23 amendments, he said the group was to ensure that state governments are carried along in the process.

The proposed constitutional amendment include local government financial autonomy, strengthening of governance institution and financial autonomy for the Houses of Assembly and presidential assent on bills.

Others are issue of immunity for lawmakers, authorisation of expenditure, and time of submission of ministerial and commissioners nominees and their portfolios to enhance efficiency of Houses.

Others are determination of pre-election cases, strengthening of the judicial system to fast-track justice delivery.

He said the team's visit to the South-West geo-political zone in the country was to have the input of Governors and the State Houses of Assembly in the process.

Mamora further explained that the members of the team have succeeded in visiting states chosen in the Southwest which include Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ondo, adding that other members of the team were assigned to visit other geo-political zones in the country for the process.

At the Ondo State House of Assembly, Senator Olorunibe Mamora described the proposed Constitutional amendment as sacrosanct for democratic governance in the country.

He spoke yesterday while leading other members of the "Friends of Democracy in Nigeria" (South-West Team) on an advocacy visit to the Ondo State House of Assembly.

Sen. Mamora said the group, "Friends of Democracy in Nigeria" is non-political, but all out to achieve good governance in the country.

He emphasised that the proposed amendment would strengthen democratic governance in the country and admonished the lawmakers to critically look into it clause by clause when it is eventually transmitted to the hallowed chamber and make their informed decisions for the benefit of all.

Proposal on constitutional amendment had already been passed by the National Assembly but now awaiting approval or otherwise from the State Houses of Assembly in the country.

Receiving the team on behalf of the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ogundeji Iroju, averred that the proposed amendment would no doubt strengthen the nation's democracy and bring more dividends of democracy to the people.

He expressed the readiness of the Assembly to do the needful on the proposed amendment as soon as its transmitted copy gets to the hallowed chamber.

Other members of the group are, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele; Hon. Adewale Omirin; Felix Obanubi; Oghogho Olabisi among others.

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