Group Calls for Stronger, All Inclusive Constitution in Nigeria

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From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Kogi NGO’s, network (KONGONET) has called for stronger and all inclusive constitution that would pave way for accelerated development in Nigeria.

KONGONET made the call in a communique issued at the end of a one-day stakeholders townhall meeting seeking for memoranda on constitutional review of the national Assembly held in Lokoja on Tuesday.

Signed by KONGONET Chairperson Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, and the Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria, (INGRA) Hamza Aliyu, the body encouraged all Nigerians to join the conversation and contribute towards shaping a better future for the nation.

According to the communique, KONGONET is committed to actively participating in the ongoing constitutional review process.

The communique explained that,, civil society organizations in Kogi state are passionate about the alteration on Federal Structure and Power Devolution (especially section 2(2)), Local Government Autonomy, Nigerian Police and Security Architecture, Electoral Reforms for a Stronger INEC, Gender issues, Immunity Clause Review, State Access to Mining and the alteration of section 9 to insert referendum to bring constitutional alteration into effect without presidential assent.

“The Committee invites submissions on a wide range of thematic areas including the following thematic areas:Federal Structure and Power Devolution Local Government Autonomy, Public Revenue, Fiscal Federation, and Revenue Allocation, Nigerian Police and Security Architecture, Judicial Reforms, Electoral Reforms for a Stronger INEC, Socio-Economic and Cultural Rights (Chapter 2)Traditional Institutions, Gender Issues,Strengthening Oversight Institutions,Residency and Indigene Provisions, Immunity Clause Review, The National Assembly Process of State Creation, State Access to Mining With additional memoranda promoting good governance and national well-being also welcomed.

“The deadline for submissions is April 10, 2024, and against this backdrop, the leadership of KONGONET have called for a townhall meeting, in attendance were members of various thematic networks in the state and media houses” the communique stated.

The communique observed that, “Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to amend the constitution through a rigorous process requiring a two-thirds majority vote in both houses and subsequent approval by two-thirds of state houses of assembly.

“Based on the principles of democracy and social justice, the Nigerian Constitution emphasizes popular sovereignty, guaranteeing the participation of its citizens in governance as enshrined in Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

” That this constitutional review process presents a crucial opportunity for KONGONET to advocate for positive change that reflects the needs and aspirations of our Kogites.

“Networks and organizations with similar thematic areas should work and adopt related thematic areas from the call for memoranda and collaborate to develop a memorandum or memoranda for onward submission”.

It would be recalled that, on March 11, 2024, the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review issued a call for memoranda to solicit proposals for amendments to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).

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