The dominant issues include devolution of power, local government reforms, judicial reforms, state creation, inclusion of traditional rulers, gender equality, state police and inclusion of youth in leadership position. Eight out the seventeen thematic areas streamlined by the Senate Committee on Constitution review dominated discussions at the Enugu centre of the South East zonal public
The dominant issues include devolution of power, local government reforms, judicial reforms, state creation, inclusion of traditional rulers, gender equality, state police and inclusion of youth in leadership position.
Eight out the seventeen thematic areas streamlined by the Senate Committee on Constitution review dominated discussions at the Enugu centre of the South East zonal public hearing. They include local government reforms, gender equality, state creation, role for traditional rulers and inclusion of youths in leadership roles,
The Enugu centre of the South East zonal public hearing comprises Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states. The hearing held at the Amadea Events Centre, Enugu. It was chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu, representing Enugu West in the Senate.
Setting the ball rolling, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who also represented the Deputy Senate President and Chairman Senate Committee on constitution Review, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege stated the objectives of the public hearing and narrated how the Senate got to this point. He described public hearing as a necessary procedure in law making. He explained the process saying the Senate would collate its findings from the public hearings and then harmonise its own version of the amendments with those of the House of Representatives before sending the bill for ratification by two thirds of the 36 State Houses of Assembly. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege had told Nigerians that the National Assembly would be ready with the proposed amendments in the month of July 2021.
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who declared the occasion opened said he was in support of the constitution review exercise as it should be seen as a way to bring about improvement in the lives of the people and the administration of the country. The governor in his speech acknowledged the Leader of the Senate team and Senator representing Enugu West, Senator Ike Ekweremadu .CFR and other Senators from the three states in attendance and wished them a successful assignment.
The event was graced by several personalities from across the three states including the Anambra state governor represented by Hon. Nkem Okeke, the deputy governor, Prof. Joy Ezeilo; lawyer, feminist and activist, the former Ohanaeze President Chief Nnia Nwodo, Ebonyi state Speaker; Rt. Hon Francis Nwifuru and members of Enugu and Ebonyi Houses of Assembly, Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Edward Uchenna Ubosi and a handful of traditional rulers.
The major discussions on the two-day event centred on local government reforms and its autonomy, the creation of at least one more state out of the South East and the name Adada state kept reoccurring from the people of Nsukka, the issue of gender equality, devolution of power to the states from the federal, citizen’s right and the inclusion of youth in leadership, and the inclusion of Traditional Rulers in decision making, Others are electoral reforms which should include making INEC to conduct local government elections, while a group of Jewish worshippers advocated that elections and examinations should not be fixed for Saturday.
There was a strong argument against the establishment of state police at the Enugu zonal public hearing. In his submission, former Commissioner of Police, Ibezimako Aghanya said a functional state police system in Nigeria may not work in favour of Igbo people. He said the disadvantages of state police far outstretch the advanges. He said amendment that allows state police may lead to the creation of Sharia police in the northern part of the country. Another ex-police Officer, Mr Ibeziako also expressed his fears and highlighted some disadvantages of State Police. The drawbacks enumerated include funding and abuse by state political actors.
The voice of women was heard loudly with the presentation by Women Political Participation- Technical Working Group (WPP-TWG) represented by the Executive director of WACOL, Prof Joy Ezeilo who advocated for the alteration of section 14 of the constitution by substituting subsection(3) to include adherence to gender diversity for national unity.
Enugu zonal hearingShe said that such alteration would ensure that there was no dominance of any gender in government administration .Mrs Ezeilo said that out of 2,970 female candidates that contested during the 2019 elections only 70 were successful, representing 4.71percent of total elected officials in the country. Professor Ezeilo called for the creation of additional ‘special seat’ for women in the federal and state legislative houses.
There is only one female Deputy Speaker in the 36 states of the federation.