Only 11 of the federation’s states have cast ballots on constitutional change bills that were delivered to them by the National Assembly’s two houses six months ago, according to a statement made yesterday by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
In a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Senate Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, said that 25 states had not shown any willingness to review and vote on part of the 44 proposals.
Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun, and Osun were the 11 states he listed.
He said that the 25 states that have not yet taken action on the bills are asking the National Assembly to include in the constitution provisions for the creation of state police, a state judicial council, streamlined procedures for the removal of state house of assembly presidents, and institutionalization of legislative bureaucracy.
Omo- Agege said that the 25 State Assemblies’ failure to review the 44 measures was evidence of the “hand of Esau and voice of Jacob,” describing the current scenario as extremely depressing six months after the bills were given to the states for consideration.
He said that governors were behind steps taken by their individual state assembly to thwart efforts to grant financial and administrative autonomy to local government councils across the nation. He also accused governors of truncating a democratic process.
Omo- Agege said: ” Six months after transmitting 44 bills to State Assemblies for concurrence, it is most disheartening to inform you that only 11 State Houses of Assembly have demonstrated their independence and loyalty to the constitution regarding the bills.
“25 State Houses of Assembly have yet to consider and vote on these bills. So far, only Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun and Osun States have successfully considered, voted on, and forwarded their resolutions on the 44 bills to the National Assembly.
“More worrisome is that while we are still expecting the receipt of the resolutions of the remaining Houses of Assembly, we received a letter from the Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies informing the National Assembly that the remaining states will not act on the 44 bills unless the National Assembly passes four new bills they have proposed in the letter.