13th May, 2019
The Senator representing Osun Central in the National Assembly, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, has blamed the Parliament for failing to address the issue of restructuring.
The lawmaker lamented the fact that the outgoing Eight Assembly could not effectively vote in support of taking the nation on the path of true federalism.
“It’s a failure on the part of the National Assembly of which I am a member and a principal officer,” he told Channels TV.
Adeyeye, who is also the Chief Whip of the National Assembly, explained that a lawmaker may have the intention of pushing calls for restructuring, it is however subject to a majority vote.
He recalled a situation in the Seventh Assembly where the issue of renouncing Nigeria’s citizenship was before the floor of the Senate.
According to him, most lawmakers voted against the proposed 18 years considered as maturity on the basis that Islam recognised any married person as being mature.
“No matter how passionately you feel about any issue, votes are taken. You win some, you lose some. And I like to remind this republic that one of the most controversial issues in the Seventh Assembly was in the issue of our effort to increase the age at which a Nigerian can renounce citizenship.
“You have to be an adult. And we tried to spell adulthood at attaining the age of 18. We took a vote and it passed. Senator Sani Yerima from Zamfara State took exception. He said that the law of Islam says once you get married, you are an adult and that the vote we are taking is an assault on the fundamental rights of Muslims in Nigeria.
“A call for a second vote (came up). Some of us approached Senator Mark and begged him not to allow a second vote. Of course, Senator Mark had been long in government. He understood that that could be an issue that could consume all of us.
“He allowed a second vote. Unfortunately, every Muslim from the north except one who had voted yes previously reversed himself and that exercised now lost by 3 votes,” he stated.
Senator Adeyeye further said that sometimes, we get so emotional about all the noise that we don’t look at all the substance of what is going on, and part of what had gone on especially in the last 4 years.
He argued that while the failure to push the issue of restructuring was a minus on the part of the National Assembly, the legislating of a country is not a straight-jacket process.
“The business of amending the constitution lies primarily in the National Assembly, however, in any country, amending the constitution is never a straight forward and an easy problem,” Adeyeye opined.