The recent ratification of some clauses in the 1999 Constitution Amendment Bill (forth Alteration) transmitted to the Ogun State House of Assembly by the National Assembly was a reflection of the outcome of inputs and submissions of relevant stakeholders meant to enhance participatory governance in the State and the nation at large.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Suraju Ishola Adekunbi, said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Abeokuta against the backdrop of the State Assembly’s position in the on-going amendment process by the Houses of Assembly in the country.
Adekunbi remarked that the ratification saw to the unanimous endorsement of 16 clauses with four others declined by the lawmakers at a plenary session held recently. This according to him, becomes necessary after series of technical sessions, conferences and deliberations with civil societies, Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and labour unions, which he noted, was with a view at encouraging citizens involvement on issues affecting national development.
The Speaker while correcting insinuations in some quarters on perceived influence by other arms of government in the constitutional amendment process explained that the fourth alteration of the Constitution, which was initiated by the 8th National Assembly, was aimed at setting legal frameworks that would further strengthen the nation’s constitution, to engender national development.
Commenting on State Joint Local Government Account, Adekunbi stated that a tripartite session had earlier been held among the Conference of Speakers in the country, Nigeria Governors Forum and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), on the need to harness inputs towards strengthening local government administration in the nation, adding that, the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led-administration on its part, had been creating enabling environment for the third-tier of government to aid grassroots development in all parts of the State.
Reacting to the incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the country, the Speaker expressed confidence that the all-encompassing Anti-land grabbing law passed by the Assembly in October 2016, was capable of curtailing herdsmen and farmers clashes in the State, hence, the reason the Assembly had to step down the proposed Animal Grazing Regulations and Cattle Ranch Establishment Law.
He recalled that the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, after a meeting with security chiefs in the State, promised that the State government was committed to enforcing the Law, while charging residents to report any suspicious activity to security agencies.
On Independent candidacy and reduction of age qualification for those seeking political offices, Adekunbi said that the bill when passed by the National Assembly and assented by President Muhammadu Buhari, would allow youth to showcase their potentials and initiatives in democratic governance.
The Speaker reiterated the Assembly’s commitment towards making all-inclusive legislations for the advancement of the society and the citizenry, tasking residents to continue to support the government by being law abiding, as well as ensuring prompt payment of their tax among other responsibilities.