By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—DEPUTY Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday assured Nigerians that proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution recently rejected by the National Assembly could still meet the threshold to become part of the constitution when revisited.
He said some of the issues for amendment were misunderstood, adding that with more engagements, the issues would be better appreciated.
Ekweremadu, who commended his colleagues for approving about 95 per cent of the recommendations presented by his committee, said it was not the end of the road for the failed alteration bills since constitution amendment was a continuum,
Ekweremadu spoke during a consultative meeting on South East infrastructural development with a delegation of the Partnership to Engage, Reform, and Learn, PERL, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, DFID, led by PERL’s team leader, Dr. Adiya Ode, in Abuja.
It would be recalled that proposals for restructuring the country took a negative turn last week as both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected moves to decongest the exclusive and legislative lists in favour of the concurrent list, in line with agitation for devolution of powers to states.
Speaking further, Ekweremadu said: “We commend our colleagues for their understanding and ensuring that about 95 percent of the amendments we proposed to them scaled through.
“We are also conscious of the fact that Nigerians are worried about some of the recommendations that did not pass.
‘’Let me use this opportunity to further appreciate and reassure Nigerians that we are sensitive to their feelings and that we are likely going to revisit some of the issues they are concerned about when we return from our vacation.
“Some of the issues did not scale through because there is need for fuller understanding as well as more consultations and consensus building on them and their implications for our people.”
Ekweremadu, who reiterated that devolution of more power to the federating units would quicken infrastructure development in the country, said: “No doubt, your studies on South East were right because the region is indeed highly challenged, especially in the areas of transport infrastructure such as roads, railway, seaport. We are also challenged in the area of power.
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