Constitution amendment: Govs oppose new states–Senator

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…Says: ‘They fear reduction in empires’

Stories from ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Smart Adeyemi, has raised the alarm that governors will derail fresh attempts by the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution. He said the state chief executives opposed Constitution review and are already demanding more powers in the amendment which would come into operation next July.

Sen. Adeyemi, former national president of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), told reporters in Abuja that governors want the National Assembly to hands off certain clauses in the Constitution. He listed them to include creation of more states, removal of immunity clause, financial autonomy for state Assemblies and local governments.

His words: “They are opposed to state creation because they believe it will reduce their empires. They are against the removal of immunity clause because they don’t want their atrocities exposed while in office and they are against the autonomy of the state Assemblies because they want to enslave them. If we have governors who are progressives, the Constitution amendment would be successful.

“They will not allow the Constitution amendment to be successful. They are going to derail it. The fundamental aspect of the Constitution amendment is the autonomy. If we cannot get the state Assemblies to be autonomous, there will be no development and the standard of living of the people will be static. “The governors are already saying that they don’t want it. How can one individual be determining the freedom of a whole state? It is for the media and the civil society to rise up against the governors and allow people to have their freedom.” On whether the Senate is helpless in addressing the situation,

Adeyemi replied, “with the provision of the Constitution handed over to us by the military, we have to obey and respect the content and spirit of the Constitution. “We cannot amend the Constitution without getting two-thirds of the state Assemblies concurring with us and the governors are also saying that they don’t want the autonomy of local governments, he said. “Were the local governments created by governors themselves? The Local Government Reform of 1976 was meant to bring governance closer to the people, and subsequent Constitution amendments recognized local government as the third tier of government.

The governors are demanding more powers for the states from the Federal Government, while they are against freedom for another tier of government. “The states were not created to ensure a true federal structure. In creating a state, factors such as norms, cultures, values and linguistics are taken into consideration. That is why states are not equal in the U.S. People agree to live together.

“The way some of the governors behave now, if we some of them, based on their comments, become president, you can have an idea of the kind of government they are going to run. How can they be against local government autonomy? Sitting on the resources meant for local government is unconstitutional, he said.”

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  1. Anthony I Efobi on

    I think that the National Assembly shall under doctrine of necessity ament the constitution. One Governor and 100 of his followers cannot illegally and greedly be holding 20 LGA and over 6 million state’s citizens to ramson. The Presidency can as well do the vital constitution amendment through executive Fiat and it stand for the Governors to beat their head on the wall.
    I think that mass action is needed against this selfish Governors. The south east must get additional 2 states to balance Northern State and Southern State. Lagos state shall be made FCT Annex and be given special status. More 10 LGA to be created in Lagos state. 50 Percent derivative revenue for indegineous resources. Local Govt shall have full independence and be prtacticed as recognised 3rd Tier of Govt.. No more State INEC and only Federal INEC bcos Governors owe, control and manage State INEC. No more executive arm of Govt in Judicial Officers appointments, retirements, sacking, payment, budgetting etc etc.

  2. N’Assembly is pursuing distance and leave shadow. Its duty is to make laws that wil benefit many ordinary Nigerians, not few selfish 37 affluent citizens. Let them revie w the laws in accordance to the public polls during constitutional review referenda. N’Assembly members should serve us if they want to effect change in the nation’s poliy. Avoid rumor engineering campaigns in the name of assymetrical public notice. We’re tied of your political bandwagon which has rather stonewall our nation’s democracy.

  3. N’Assembly is pursuing distance and leave shadow. Its duty is to make laws that wil benefit many ordinary Nigerians, not few selfish 36 affluent citizens. Let them revie w the laws in accordance to the public polls during constitutional review referenda. N’Assembly members should serve us if they want to effect change in the nation’s poliy. Avoid rumor engineering campaigns in the name of assymetrical public notice. We’re tied of your political bandwagon which has rather stonewall our nation’s democracy.

  4. Some of the Governors are lazy and lack vision to deliver on promises made, so they would apply all anti progress methods to thwart the much awaited amendment of lopsided 1999 constitution as amended.
    Why should they oppose states creation, would some of them become governors if states were not created in the past?
    Ogun state where i come from remains the only state in Nigeria where two provinces, namely, {Abeokuta and Ijebu provinces} still remain as one State while other defunct provinces have been divided into two or three States.
    Ibadan suppose to become a State like other former regional headquarters like Kaduna, Enugu and Benin, it is a known fact that Ibadan metropolis alone has more local government areas than some states like Bayelsa, Enugu and Zamfara, so the present Oyo state should be divided into two states of Ibadan and Oyo states for equity and justice sake.
    Lagos state as a former federal capital and still Commercial Capital of Nigeria and indeed West Africa should be given special statue in the constitution like FCT, Abuja.

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  6. No wonder our people are suffering. We need more states. The Governors re only being egocentric. We know what they know. The LGAs must b free frm the state manuplations. 36 Governors re nt d entire Nigerian citizens. We need d Amendment.

  7. do you see to that..if it is matters that will enrich the gov,the will fight for it with there last blood..hahahaha have you seen the type of rulers we have in this country …let us wait and see the outcome all i know is that one day God will give us leaders and not rulers again in this country!!!

  8. But, wasn’t it d same hypocrites in senate that said NO to national conference that ould hav best addressed the whole waste called constitution. Adeyemi, stop pointing fingers. Do d right thing or keep shut and continue enjoying ur bogus salary and allowances. Thank God nobody will say he is sage in this jungle called nigeria anymore, including d gov, parliamentarians and even d president. Pathetic

  9. where is our civil right actvists? Isnt high time they come out and mobilise the people to storm all the state assembilies and make their demand known. We must learn from Arab world particularly Egypt. We cannot continue like this.

  10. I think the names of those governors that are opposing the constitution amendment should be sent to senator Ndume He will know what to do with them. I mean, these are the type of people Boko, should concentrate on.

  11. Mr adeyemi should have been bold enough to name some of those govs, I will want to believe that it will be the northern govs who will kick against the creation of more states or at least a state for the s.e, now for the simple minded Igbos supporting buhari, it is time to do a rethink and be wise

  12. Mr adeyemi should have been bold enough to name some of those govs, I will want to believe that it will be the northern govs who will kick against the creation of more states or at least a state for the s.e, now for the simple minded Igbos supporting buhari, it is time to do a rethink and be wise.

  13. IF ACTION IS TO BE STAYED ON THESE THREE AREAS SENATOR ADEYEMI MENTIONED THEN THERE IS NOTHING LEFT; WE CAN SUSPEND FURTHER ACTION AND WASTE OF NATIONAL RESOURCES ON THE CONSTITUTION AS THERE IS NOTHING MORE TANGIBLE LEFT TO AMEND.

    BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THE CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT EXERCISE WILL HELP EXPOSE THE BANALITY AND NOTHINGNESS IN THE FEDERAL LEGISLATORS; IT WILL EXPOSE THEM AS PERSONS WITHOUT “MANHOOD”. FOR NONE OF THEM WILL BE MAN ENOUGH TO GO INTO ANY AREA WHERE HIS/HER GOVERNOR TELLS HIM NOT TO GO.

    THEN NIGERIANS WILL KNOW THAT ALL THESE FEDERAL LEGISLATORS WHO STAND UP TO STRUGGLE TO HAVE EQUAL POWERS WITH JONATHAN ARE MERE FLUKES WITH NO REAL VALUES. IF THEY WERE, I CANNOT SEE ANY REASON WHY THE LIKES OF UCHE CHUKWUMEREIJE WILL FEEL SO TIMID AS TO SAY NOTHING AGAINST THE MISRULE OF ABIA, THE WORST STATE IN NIGERIA, WHILE HE WILL BE UNASHAMEDLY BOLD ENOUGH TO SAY HE WILL CHAMPION IMPEACHMENT OF JONATHAN FOR NON-PERFORMANCE.

    SENATOR ADEYEMI IS REMINDING US HERE THAT WHEN THE DIE IS CAST, THERE WILL BE FEDERAL LEGISLATORS WHO WILL TAKE THE GOVERNORS’ POSITION AS LAW AND THEREFORE WILL SCUTTLE THE CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT EXERCISE.

  14. Mr,Smart Adeyemi you are not a Nigerian but you are among a few people looting Kogi State treasury.You want Nigerians to see you as a saint.
    Why didn’t you ask the federal Government to give Nigerians security of their lives and properties in any part of the country they may find themselves,you didn’t also ask the Federal Government to provide water,access and motorable road network across the country,to reduce the sufferings of poor and helpless people of Nigeria.
    Mr,Smart Adeyemi,as the senate committee chairman on FCT,why didn’t you ask the FCT minister Alhaji Senator Bala Mohammed how he got the over N300m he is spending in the construction of a new mosque in Bauchi state,because he (Bala) is nursing the ambition to contest gubernitarian election in Bauchi State come 2015.
    Nigerians should not allow Adeyemi to smart them.

  15. Those selfish Governors are nt bigger dan 160 million nigerians.2 hell wit dia selfish nd self servin opinions.May God strike dem all.

  16. I WONDER THE REGION THOSE GOVENERS MAY COME FROM HOW EVER SOUTH EAST MUST GET THE 2 ADDITIONAL STATES WHETHER THE GOVENERS LIKE IT OR NOT. HOW CAN NIGERIA EVER DEVELOP WITH THESE KIND OF NORTHERN LEADERS

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