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Mark, Others Brainstorm on new Constitution

The 48-member senate committee on the review of the 1999 constitution commenced a four-day retreat at Asaba the Delta state capital with a view to deliberate and review areas of constitutional restraints to the development of the country.
The speakers, which included Senate President, David Mark; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy House of Representatives Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha; Delta State governor Emmanuel Uduaghan; his Rivers State counterpart, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and a host of others all seemed to agree that other areas that need to be looked at are judicial reforms, creation of states, national security – terrorism and insurgency – boundary adjustment, further fine-tuning of the electoral system, state police, citizenship versus indigeneship, the role of traditional rulers and prisons.

Senate President, David Mark declared the retreat open and asked the committee to be transparent and fair in the course of their deliberation.

He says the leadership of the National Assembly would not condone unruly behaviour and impulse from groups or individuals that would undermine the intent of the National Assembly.
The three day retreat is facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP through its Democratic Governance for Development Project, DGDP.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the Constitution, SCRC, Senator Ike Ekweremadu while welcoming stakeholders to the retreat had given a July, 2013 deadline for the conclusion of the review.
He, however, was not clear on whether that would be the deadline for the end of the exercise as concerning the Senate or for the conclusion of the constitution alteration exercise which also involves the House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly.
Deputy Senate President on his part outlined a 16-item list that would be the focus of the retreat, Devolution of Powers, Creation of more States, Recognition of the Six Geo-political Zones in the Constitution, Role for Traditional Rulers, The place of Local Government in our Federal arrangement, Extracting of the Land Use Act, NYSC Act and Code of Conduct from the constitution.
Other concerns listed include Fiscal Federalism, Immunity Clause, Nigerian Police, residency provisions, term and tenure of Executive Office Holders, rotation of offices among others.