The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states under the aegis of Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF) on Wednesday met and discussed the ongoing process of amending the 1999 constitution.
Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, the Forum chairman while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, said the meeting discussed the presentation made to it by the chairman of the constitution amendment committee, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, during its last meeting.
“The Deputy Senate President was here with us to brief us on the harmonized position of the two houses for the task of the schedule of the amendment of the Nigeria constitution.
“Because of its importance, we decided to hold this extraordinary meeting so that we could deliberate,” he said.
Mr. Yari said the governors had wanted to invite the Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies so as to “collectively look at what was submitted for the betterment of the nation.”
The conference of speakers had held a meeting in Yola, Adamawa State, two weeks ago, to also discuss the constitutional amendment.
A major highlight of the meeting of the speakers was their decision to grant full autonomy to local government areas.
It is believed that governors are against granting autonomy to local governments because of their perceived need to continue to control funds allocated to the council areas in their states.
Mr. Yari, however, said the governors had agreed that “the constitution is being amended for posterity and not for any other interest.”
He also said the NGF has information that the two chambers of the National Assembly are having difficulty harmonizing their positions on the amendments to the constitution.
“So probably by next week, that is on the 18th, the Speaker of the House of Representatives or his representative will come and make his own presentation to us so that we look at it too,” he said.
The Zamfara State governor said issues such as “national interest, devolution of powers, and political agitations were not taken into considerations in that amendment.”
He said as leaders, the governors consider it important for these issues to be captured for the good of the nation.