Constitution Amendment'll Help Remake Nigeria —Lawmaker

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Hon. Muniru Abiodun Hakeem, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency 02, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, has said that an amendment of the 1999 constitution will provide the opportunities to redesign Nigeria and redirect it to proper nationhood.

Hakeem who said this when he distributed over 1,000 bags of rice to members of his constituency at Ansar-ul-deen College of Education, Isolo, noted that its review would douse the mounting tension in the country over its collapsing federalism and raise the hope of devolution of powers in a secular state, where religious sentiments and ethnic feelings are fuelled by repeated demands for self-determination.

He added that the agitation for a special status for Lagos State would now be treated as a constitutional matter, stressing that a time would come when the denial of that status, which is long overdue, would be treated as injustice against the Centre of Excellence.

He said: “We need special funding to tackle infrastructure decay and shortage of amenities in Lagos because of the pressure mounted on the state by continued inflow of people from across the country. We need to remind all that former capital towns and cities across the globe are not neglected like Lagos”.

The legislator expressed happiness that his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, would be willing to champion the cause of the neglected former federal capital territory, adding that no Nigerian would be opposed to the idea because Lagos State is a mini Nigeria.

He said: “ACN is an advocate of true federalism and justice. We are fighting for special status. Every country that has moved a new federal capital often develops the old and new capital towns simultaneously. The federal infrastructure in Lagos are in decay. As individuals, groups and party, we are championing it. Lagos is part of the agenda of the House. We must make the agitation for a special status a constitutional matter”.

Hakeem emphasised the importance of a new constitution, saying it would unite the diverse components, if it ushers in true federalism and decentralisation of powers.

The lawmaker also spoke on the Legislative Compliance Committee, which he said, would fashion out rules that would enforce compliance with motions and resolutions by the executive, agencies, parastatals and other stakeholders in the country.

He said motions and resolutions are in vain if there is no compliance, adding that the legislature would be a toothless bulldog if its motions and resolutions are worthless.

Hakeem assured that he would not relent in articulating the problems of his constituency on the floor, stressing; “There is infrastructure decay in my constituency. NNPC has abandoned the road project there. The contractor handling the construction has absconded. We are protesting to FERMA and Minister of Petroleum. Between Oke Afa Bridge and Jakande Estate, there is a terrible traffic snarl. It is stressful and painful.

“Then, I want to bring a bill on youth development before the House. This will facilitate an access to aids and grants. I am not relenting in attracting the Millenium Development Goals,MDG, projects, especially water and electricity. Our Town Hall meetings would kick off soon and a topic on the agenda is the single term tenure proposed by the President. There, I will collate views and opinions.”

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