A COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF A ONE DAY STAKEHOLDERS ROUND TABLE MEETING ON THE PROPOSED 21 AMENDMENTS BILLS OF THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE NATION ORGANZZIED BY JNI
The members of National Assembly had cast their votes in favour of altering sections of the constitution as proposed by 21 out of 33 amendment bills in respect of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as debated. It is in realization of this, that the JNI Jigawa State organized a one day Stakeholder’s round table meeting on constitutional amendment and restructuring of the Nation held on Thursday 12th Safar, 1439 (2nd November, 2017) at its’ State Headquarters, Yalwawa, Dutse, Jigawa State.
The meeting was attended by community leaders, various Islamic Organizations, community base organizations, civil society organizations, ulamahs, students, traders, farmers, Federal and State government Agencies, media houses and other relevant stakeholders, chaired by Matawallen Ringim, Engr Alhaji Kamilu Abubakar who was appointed by the participants to preside over the meeting as a result of failure to reach the proposed Chairman, Hon Justice (Rtd) Alhaji Tijjani Abubakar, Dan Ruwatan Dutse, who wasn’t receive the invitation up to the appointed time of the meeting
The prominent people attended, were the representatives of His Royal Highness, Emir of Ringim, under the leadership of Madaki of Ringim, Alhaji Bashir Magaji, Mallam Musa Haruna, Director of Religious Affairs as representative of the Secretary to the State Government, State Chairman of Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) and observers from two neighboring states; Bauchi and Kano.
Three papers were presented during the meeting, which after the participants were able to make remarkable contributions and expressed their personal point views.
The papers presented were:
Procedure for the constitutional amendment, presented by Bar Nazifi Ibrahim on behalf of Bar Baffa Alhassan, State Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
Sections of the constitution so far debated and voted by NASS, Presented by Mallam Muhammad Musbahu Basirka, Chairman Collation of civil societies, Jigawa State.
Citizen’s responsibilities on the constitutional amendment, presented by Alhaji Isah Surajo of PERL-ELP in Jigawa State.
Succeeding to the presentations and the participant’s discussions on the matters, observations and resolution were made as follows:
The participants observed with keen interest that, this kind of meeting would tremendously enhance public awareness on matters related to the state and nation, which could promote justices, transparency and encourage patriotism, discipline and moral value inculcation.
Most of the amendments debated and voted by NASS on the Nigerian constitution were not from the grass root citizens; rather are the efforts of the people representatives in upper and lower houses, that why most of the exertions on the matters reflect the interest of those who hold positions of power and manage our resources, the participants point of views are; the common man’s security, health, his socio economic challenges, educational growth, goodness and decency were not adequately considered.
People are enthusiastic to be acquainted with all what is happening in the three tiers of governments. seeing that; democrat nation is govern for people and by the people, transparency and easy access to information are among it’s characteristic, while Justice, appropriate and efficient satisfactory services delivery are the longing of every citizen.
The participants delighted with the participation of Federal and State government’s agencies in the round table meeting, their tender, confidents, and helpful statement indicate goodwill with deepest hope of forwarding people’s opinions to the appropriate authorities.
On the restructuring of the Nation, observations were being made on debates carrying out in the Country with indifference tunes, disparate angles and perspectives.
In consequence to the above presentations and observations, the participants made the following resolutions:-
Issues on the constitutional amendments requires wider and extensive people participations for adequate inputs and well-link recommendations before passing to the State House Assemblies for rectifications, as law makers at all levels are bound by nature of their duties to enact laws and amendments in the constitution with relevant and ample representations of the electorate point of view at constituency levels, in the manner which can help in stabilizing peace, unity of the country, security, economy growth as well as improving peaceful social intermingling and the well being of the citizens.
In addition to the twenty two (21) amendments debated and voted by NASS, there is need for additional considerations, as the participants expressed incitement on promotion of educational systems which could enable atmosphere for granting self empowerment, discipline, moralities and patriotism.
For the vital role of traditional institutions in running of the nation’s affairs the participants emphasized on inserting roles of traditional rulers in the amendments, with exaggeration that; the community leaders, play very vital roles in the nation security, unity, peace and harmony, as do the best on inculcation of discipline, morality and respects to the father land.
The secular statue of the nation in the constitution is among subject of concern, as religion have a strong influence to our life styles, emotional attitudes, and outlook of the Nigerian, enacting laws which could accommodate religion as part of us need to have special considerations in nature of exploiting useful approaches for adhering and promoting tolerance and understanding, encourage National development, sincerity, patriotism and self-confidence.
The majority of participants are in support of political self government for the Local Government councils with encompassing of the Nigerian Security and Civil DefenSce Corps, independent candidacy, autonomous of the auditor generals and state house of assemblies were the area of interest to be inserted in the Nigerian constitution.
On the restructuring of the Nation, there were no harm in the present structure of the Nation, the better ways of accommodating Nigerian as one entity nation are justice, transparency and adhering to the rule of law, equal opportunity, fairness, justice and tranquility are among the importance phenomenon for peaceful coexistence, unity and development.
The participants call on the people to consider the past history of the Nation and see how the present structure came up, the country growing in stages, we as citizen of the Nigeria consider the fairness of the present constitution, it gave every constituency opportunity to have representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives, power is sharing between the three arms and three tiers of government with adequate provision for representation in planning, legislations, decision making and executing, but agitations for restructuring is exasperating, it aims at granting ethnics states, regions or republics inside an unified nation, which in sequence it could lead to collapse of wall so far and solidly constructed in a way to occupy all Nigerians. In this regard, the round table meeting was strongly appealing for mounting of awareness on menace of restructuring as to block any possible division in the country.
Muhammad Ahmad Babangida,
State Branch Secretary