Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo has urged various groups to actively contribute towards making a constitution that will address the concerns of the majority of Nigerians.
Uzodinma made the call at the opening of a public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution in Owerri on Wednesday.
He said that there had been a series of agitations from various strata of society for the review of the Constitution.
He said that the review process would provide a great opportunity for the society to make inputs into the creation of an acceptable constitution.
He urged them to shun threats of cessation and violence and see the desired Constitution amendment as a tool with which to achieve their aim.
He added that their goal of having an additional state in the South East can only be achieved peacefully and urged them to toe the line of peace.
He also advised that Igbo people would continue to do better as Nigerians than they would if confined in separate state with limited opportunities.
“All the issues which various groups have been agitating for can be addressed through this constitution review.
“I am aware that Ohaneze Ndi Igbo has articulated the position of the South East and I urge other persons and groups to do the same.
“All Igbo people are seeking for is an environment created for us to unleash our potential and talents without hindrance.
“We have to be united, bold and courageous and follow the right route to success,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the constitution review, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege said the hearing was critical to participatory democracy.
Omo-Agege, represented by Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, said there was a need to periodically review the constitution and the country’s constitutional democracy.
He stated that at the commencement of the 9th Assembly, the senate set a legislative agenda as a basis for which it should be assessed.
He said top on the agenda was the need to address topical issues like judicial and electoral reforms, local government autonomy, and devolution of powers.
He added that this would be done, by way of constitutional amendments and added that the country’s constitutional democracy would be set on the right pedestal if it was successful.
The senator said that the committee on constitution review has received a lot of memoranda on a broad range of issues and proposals including referred bills.
He said that these have been painstakingly re-examined while proposals deemed beneficial to the society have been reintroduced.
He assured that memoranda that have already been submitted would be critically considered by the committee and serve as a guide for its work as a committee.
Participants who contributed included representatives of Women in Politics, the Nigeria Union of Journalists and Aba state movement.
Others included the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Nigerian Youth Parliament, and the Nigerian Christian Graduates Fellowship.
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