AKHA SUSPENDS VOTING ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTONOMY, SUPPORT INDEPENDENT CANDIDACY

 Ifiok ITIABA 

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has voted in favour of independent candidacy, reduction in age qualification for the office of the President, and membership of the House of Representatives and State Assemblies. 

The state legislature, however, suspended voting on local government autonomy. 

The exercise which took place on Wednesday at the Hallowed Chamber of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, was part of the ongoing constitutional amendment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which seeks to alter some provisions of the 1999 Constitution. 

Submitting his report on the outcome of the one day stakeholders meeting organized by the Ad-hoc Committee set-up by the Speaker of the House to collect inputs from the public, the House Leader and member representing Oruk Anam state constituency, Rt. Hon Udo Kierian said, the suspension of voting on local government autonomy was necessary due to protest by the NLC and NUT. 

The committee, however, recommended  independence of the legislature, the change of name of the Nigeria Police Force to the ” Nigerian Police” to reflect their core mandate of providing civil services, and the strengthening of the judiciary for effective dispensation of justice in the Nigerian constitution, which the lawmakers voted in favour. 

The Lawmakers also voted in favour of early presentation and passage of appropriation bills, the disqualification of a person who was sworn-in as President or Governor to complete the term of the elected President or Governor from being elected to the same office for more than a single term.

The House also voted for the inclusion of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the constitution, the provision of sufficient time for INEC to conduct bye-elections and provide grounds for de-registration of political parties, as well as to make provisions for pre-election matters and disputes which were parts of the fifteen items forwarded to them by the National Assembly.

 

The motion for adoption of the recommendations was moved by the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian and seconded by Hon. Otuekong Nse Essien, member representing Onna State Constituency. 

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke said, the exercise was in accordance with the constitutional mandate of the lawmakers.

“this is in accordance with our constitutional mandate to amend the constitution as clearly provided for in section 9(1),(2) and (3) of the constitution”.

He reminded the lawmakers that the exercise was in response to agitations by the people for the enthronement of good governance in the Nation’s polity and directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren to forward the resolution to the National Assembly.

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