Stakeholders in Ogun State have thrown their weight behind the forty-four (44) alteration bills approved by the National Assembly for the consideration of the State Houses of Assembly in the country, as they all canvassed for the speedy passage and subsequent assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Stakeholders spoke today during a public hearing on the Fifth Alteration of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Altered), held at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Contributors at the forum including the National President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Akeem Ambali, Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Abosede Ogunleye, State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Kolawole Obadina, State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Akinola Abiodun, representative of Ogun West Stakeholders, Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, Deputy Corps Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence  Corps, Ajayi Amos amongst others.

The stakeholders agreed in unison that subsequent passage, assent and implementation of the bills would enhance national development, especially through a more independent legislature, judiciary and local government system that would deepen democratic practice.  

This was just as they noted that parts of the alteration bills were meant to efficiency in the third tier of government, promote accountability, transparency, principles of separation of powers, enhanced bio-data record keeping, improved security of lives and property as well as boost food security; enhance free, compulsory and basic education and fundamental rights of all citizens amongst others. 

In his remarks, Comrade Ambali lauded the Assembly for conveying the forum to harness stakeholders’ views, stating that it would help promote good governance at all levels, just as Mrs. Ogunleye opined that the State which had 1,565 primary schools, 511 secondary schools and 10 state-owned tertiary institutions had already been operating free basic education policy from primary to secondary schools.

She therefore charged parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards take advantage of the qualitative education put in place by the state government.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Speaker Oluomo expressed optimism that when the alterations were eventually carried out successfully, more institutions of government would be further strengthened, especially the three arms of government.

“Distinguished Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me categorically state here that, if Nigerian democracy must meet up with other advanced democracies in the world, there is need for us as stakeholders in this country to be proactive through well calculated and conceited efforts, which must be taken when necessary to address the short-comings in our present constitution that are perceived as clogs in our wheel of progress as a Nation.

It is imperative for this Honourable House to give necessary legislative credence to these Bills and also ensure prompt transmission of same to the National Assembly as required’, the Speaker submitted.   

In his welcome address, the Deputy Speaker, Akeem Balogun said the forum was aimed at addressing some grey areas in the nation’s constitution, which were perceived to be slowing down the nation’s democratic progress; adding that when the identified issues were objectively addressed, more credence would be given to the three arms of government in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities to the people. 

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