[Channels Television ]
The Nigerian Senate on Friday began a two-day retreat to address controversial areas in the nation’s constitution.
At the retreat holding in south western city of Lagos, the Senate Committee in charge of the amendment engaged opinion leaders in a conversation aimed at achieving accountability in governance among other things.
The lawmakers expect that their findings would help provide answers to questions raised on how federalism should be structured in Nigeria.
Addressing the gathering, the Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, stressed the need to always conclude constitution amendment processes far ahead of election seasons.
He said: “It reduces the contamination of an otherwise patriotic exercise by personal, political or other considerations.
“In keeping with the matching order of the Senate President at the inauguration of this committee, we hope to conclude the process of the constitution amendment exercise by December 2016,” Senator Ekweremadu said.
Earlier in his opening speech, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, told the lawmakers to consider the experience of the past and reasons for the delay of the forth alteration.
“I will like you to kindly, for us and for all Nigerians, deliver a new constitution to this country by the time we open a chapter to the beginning of 2017.
“I think that if we so do, we will be leaving a legacy for ourselves,”he stressed.
Several issues are confronting the nation and some lawmakers gave their opinion on the sideline of the event on the issue of restructuring the nation.
While some said Nigeria had too many states than it could afford, others said the nation must have a leadership that should deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
Cost of running Nigerian states was another issue that was raised by some of the lawmakers.
The Nigerian constitution bears huge burden and a lot of loopholes that many Nigerians believe if not address would hurt the nation badly.
In 2014, the administration of Goodluck Jonathan brought people from different parts of Nigeria together in Abuja for a national conference to deliberate and find a lasting solution to the nation’s challenges and implementations that could address agitations.
Former President Jonathan had promised to forward the deliberations of the national national conference to the National Assembly but could not do that before he lost in the presidential election of 2015.