The Senate Zonal Public Hearing on the Constitution Review Comes up Today (26th May 2021) and Tomorrow (27th May 2017) in two centres each across the Six Geo-political Zones in Nigeria.
The Public Hearing would happen simultaneously in all these 12 centres between 10am and 5pm, both today and tomorrow.
These Centres are listed below:
I. North-Central 1 – Jos Centre
(Plateau, Nasaraws and Benue)
2. North-Central 2 – Minna Centre
(Niger. Kwara, Kogi and FCT)
3. North-East 1 – Bauchi Centre
(Bauchi, Yobe and Borno)
4. North-East 2 – Gombe Centre
(Gombe, Tarnba and Adamawa)
5. North-West 1 – Kaduna Centre
(Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina)
6. North-West 2 – Sokoto Centre
(Sokoto. Kebbi and Zamfara)
7. South-East 1 – Owerri Centre
(Imo and Abia)
8. South-East 2 – Enugu Centre
(Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra)
9. South-South 1 – Asaba Centre
(Delta, Edo and Bayelsa)
10. South-South 2 – Port Harcourt Centre
(Rivers. Cross River and Akwa-Ibom)
11. South-West 1 – Lagos Centre
(Lagos, Oyo and Ogun)
12. South-West 2 – Akure Centre
(Osun and Ondo).
In as much as many Well-meaning Nigerians who would have wanted to be there at the hearing, the painful truth is that, they may not end up being there in the end. And since there are no alternative online/virtual means for citizens to contribute to the hearing, it then means that the reviews that these well-meaning Nigerians have in their minds for which they couldn’t get themselves to the venues of the hearing on order to contribute, may end up remaining with them forever.
Nevertheless, we earnestly hope that those persons who finally made it to the venues of the hearing would point out many of those issues which the supposed “absentees” were having in their minds.
For me, – and that is, speaking for myself – I would be very happy if these issues I am listing here below to be reviewed (or added):
1. “Independent Candidacy In Elections”. Let it not be a compulsory factor that a candidate must come from a political party.
2. “Electronic Voting”. Let the options for electronic technologies be allowed in our elections, and let the options allowed not be restricted or specifically mentioned, this is because, as technology continues to advance, better technological options may be available.
3. “Expanding the Conditions and Options for the use of REFERENDUMS”. Referendums at the moment (according to the current Constitution) can only be used when there is need for the creation of a new State or LGA or to adjust the boundaries of existing States or LGAs. It can also be used when a legislative member is to be recalled by the constituents who voted him/her. That is a very shallow and a very narrow use of Referendums in Nigeria. Provisions should be made to expand the use of Referendums. A full section should be included in the Constitution about Referendums; and it should be in such a way that the Legislature Calls for it in order for it to be used to decide some important national issues, and then the Executive Council Approves it, and finally the Electoral Body Conducts it.
4. “Separation of the Local Police, State Police, Regional Police, and Federal Police”. This one is simple. No much explanations are needed. Or alternatively, let all policemen be posted back to their Local-Government-Areas. (Police is not Military. Police is mainly for maintaining the internal peace and order, and this should be done with the use of Minimum Force. When the case gets bigger than the use of Minimum Force, then a Tactical Team should be deployed. Policemen shouldn’t be moving around with deadly weapons).
5. “Total reformation of the Police Force”. All the functions and operations of the Police Force should be boldly stated inside the Constitution. Where their powers began and where they ended should also be included. For instance, the use of firearms should be highly restricted for the police. Also, police should stop operating as if they are military men.
6. “Total reformation of the Military”. All the functions of the Military should be boldly stated inside the Constitution. Where their powers began and where they ended should also be included. For instance, the military should not be seen anyhow in the cities and on the highways as if they are Policemen. The Military functions are totally different from Police Functions.