SOUTH East Nigeria has been urged to take advantage of the on-going review of the 1999 Constitution to address their grievances in the present socio-political set up in the country.
Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the 1999 Senate Constitution Review Committee, Ovie Omo- Age gave the advice during the opening ceremony of the South East Zonal Public Hearing of the Senate Committee for the review of the 1999 Constitution.
Advancing reasons for this position, Senator Omo-Agege said that all the issues causing series of agitations in the country, especially the Southeast Zone such as judicial as electoral reforms, local government autonomy and devolution of power are sitting prominently in the agenda.
According to the Senate Deputy President, the country will get everything right if policies are subjected to constitutional due process.
“If we get those items through constitutional processes of alteration successfully, then our constitutional democracy will be set on the right pedestal, and ultimately, Nigerian will take its pride of place among the enviable constitutional democracies in the world”.
He reiterated the intention of the Senate to leverage on this constitutional review exercise to achieve as many milestones as possible in one swoop.
Let me also remind our fellow patriots, country men and women that a Constitution Review represents a critical phase in our development and advancement as a nation. So far, we have had over two decades of constitutional rule under the 1999 Constitution. This is an important feat and we commend ourselves as a country, even if we are not where we aspire to be. As a living document, the constitution, and to a large extent, our constitutional democracy, need to be reviewed from time to time. Just as in our day to day lives, we take stock of the past and plan for the future, so it must be with the nation,” he said.
But Omo-Agege promised Nigerians that the exercise will be fair, inclusive, credible and transparent.
Earlier while declaring the exercise open, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi promised a peaceful, secured and conducive atmosphere for a successful conclusion of Public Hearing in Enugu for the committee and the participants.
In his own speech, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who represented Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege expressed the importance of the exercise and thanked his colleagues, dignitaries and all the participants to the event gracing the event.
Dignitaries at the occasion included Senators Uche Ekwunife, Ifeanyi Ubah, Chukwuka Utazi, Obinna Ogba, Sam Egwu and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke. Others are the Speakers of Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi Houses of Assembly, Ebonyi State House of Assembly and their Anambra State counterparts.
But there were no representatives of Ohaneze Ndigbo, nor did the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation present a memorandum.