Constitution Amendment: Restructuring cannot work without National Assembly – Tambuwal

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Aminu Tambuwal.

The Governor of Sokoto State and Chairman PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal says current effort at restructuring of the Nigeria will not achieve success it is not channeled through the National Assembly as amendments to the 1999 constitution. Speaking at the opening plenary of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit tagged “Building partnerships for resilience” Governor Tambuwal said the nation must avoid a repeat of the mistake of 2015 when a robust attempt by the House of Representatives to amend the constitution was rejected at last minute.

The Special Adviser Public Affairs to the Governor, Abubakar Shekara in a press statement disclosed that Tambuwal spoke alongside Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Funke Opeke; Chief Executive Officer, MainOne and Chidi Ajaere; CEO, The GIG Group in Abuja. Governor Tambuwal who was Speaker of the House of Representatives when the attempt at constitution amendment was made said restructuring can only be done by constitution amendments.

“As it were at the moment, whatever you are going to do about the constitution, has been prescribed by the constitution, how you are going to do it, the Grundnorm” he said pointing out that “the constitution has prescribed how a word in that constitution is going to be amended. “Except of course we are saying we are going to jettison the National Assembly and the State Assemblies, in getting it done, which is not possible” he added.

According to Governor Tambuwal “you can only do that through the introduction of bills at the National Assembly, debates at the National Assembly, public hearings and getting the concurrence of the 36 States Houses of Assemblies”. He said this was what the House of Representatives did in 2015 when it elaborately debated the issues after Nigerians had first debated them and their views collated and synthesised into an Act that was presented to the President Jonathan for assent. He said that President Obasanjo and President Jonathan’s constitutional conferences failed because their resolutions were not translated into legislation.

“So you cannot go outside of the constitution to amend the constitution, so we better came to terms with this realisation and agree to come together and agree on how best we can work together to achieve what the nation desires” Governor Tambuwal told his audience at the summit opening.  Governor Tambuwal said the proposed amendments were still on paper and presents a way out for the nation at this time. “Yes a way out for now will be to get the bill and represent it to the present national assembly for enactment” he said during the panel discussion.

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