Senate suspends plenary for public hearing on constitution review


•Unveils zonal chairmen for exercise
The Senate has announced suspension of plenary for one week, starting from Tuesday next week, to enable its members participate in zonal public hearing on constitution review that will hold across the country.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who made the announcement at plenary, yesterday, said the exercise would hold at 12 centres in the geo-political zones on May 26 and 27, 2001.

He urged Nigerians to participate fully in the exercise, assuring Nigerians that National Assembly has no preconceived agenda and would be opened to suggestions on how to move the country forward.

“This is a very important exercise for our country. I appeal to all Nigerians who have one issue or the other that they think the constitution review committee of the Senate should know and address, to go to the centre nearest to them.

“We are plain, we don’t have any preconceived or predetermined position on anything. The myriads of issues that Nigerians want to be addressed to make the country better, to make citizens secured and enhance the welfare of our people must be brought for consideration.

“Because of this very important assignment by this important committee of the senate, the senate will suspend plenary through next week to enable not only the committee members but the rest of us participate in the exercise.”

Lawan had earlier read a letter from the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, announcing that the committee would hold its zonal public hearing for review of 1999 Constitution on May 26 and 27.

According to him, the public hearing is scheduled to hold at two centres in each of the six geo-political zones.

In the North-Central, there will be a centre in Jos where people from Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue states will participate in the public hearing under the chairmanship of Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa), while a centre in Minna will accommodate people from Niger, Kwara and Kogi states as well as FCT, under the chairmanship of Senator Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger).

In the North-East, people from Bauchi, Yobe and Borno states will participate in the public hearing at Bauchi centre with Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC-Borno) as chairman, while the second centre, which consists of Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa states, has Senator Goje Danjuma (APC Gombe) as chairman.

For North-West, there is a centre in Kaduna made up of Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states and Senator Gaya Kabiru (APC Kano) as chairman while the Sokoto centre consists of Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states with Senator Adamu Alero (APC-Kebbi) as chairman.

In the South-East Zone, there is a centre in Owerri where people from Imo and Abia states will participate in the public hearing under the chairmanship of Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu (APC Abia) just as the Enugu centre, comprising of Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states, will be chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP-Enugu).

For South-South zone, there is a centre in Asaba to attend to people from Delta Edo and Bayelsa states under the chairmanship of Senator James Manager (PDP-Delta), while the centre in Port Harcourt chaired by Senator Berty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers) will attend to people from Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River states.

In the South-West zone, Lagos centre, chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos), will attend to people from Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states and people from Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states will participate in the public hearing at Akure centre to be chaired by Senator Ajayi Boroffice (APC-Ondo).

By John Akubo, Abuja

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