Okowa asks reps to consider rewriting constitution

Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, has asked the house of representatives to “add a clause” that will make it possible to rewrite the constitution. 

The governor stated this on Thursday when Idris Wase, deputy speaker of the house of representatives, and other members of the committee on constitution review, visited him at the government house in Asaba.

The national assembly is currently conducting public hearings on amending the 1999 constitution.

Section 9 (1) of the constitution only makes provision for its sections to be amended.

Speaking during the visit on Thursday, Okowa said since there is no provision to rewrite the constitution, a clause should be added during the review process.

“Is it possible to have a brand new constitution when there is one existing? As the constitution is at the moment, there is no provision to allow that,” he said.

“But I believe that if we have a deep thought and look at section 9 of the constitution, it will be possible to add a clause and when that clause must have been approved and has become law, it will now be possible under such a condition for the national assembly to rewrite an entire constitution which will come into effect after all the processes have been done.”

Okowa said there is a need for devolution of powers, adding that the “exclusive list is too burdensome” for the federal government to handle.

“It is not about this administration. It is about all the administrations at the federal level. When you take too much for yourself, you find it difficult to be as efficient as you would have been ordinarily,” he said.

“And whether we like it or not, the truth is the sub-national governments are closer to their people and are best situated to represent their people and to reach out and to touch them in ways and manners that the people will best appreciate.

“We think there is a need to look at that exclusive list and to make adjustments to devolve more power to the sub-national government.

“Of course, going through on that would be that there would need to be the re-allocation of resources to be able to make the sub-national governments more impactful than they are at the moment.

“When we concentrate too much power at the national level, it creates a lot of challenges. We can help ourselves as a nation by devolving those powers.”

The governor also maintained that there is a need to establish state police to tackle insecurity in the country.

“There is a need for the establishment of state police, not because we believe that the federal police is inefficient, but we believe that it will be difficult for them to have enough personnel with such a command structure that will be functional enough to handle the level of insecurity in the land today,” he said.

“We are not asking for a scrapping of the federal police. But there is a need for the creation of state police. Nigeria will not be the first nation to have that, and it can be worked out.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.