1367 views | Akanimo Sampson | May 27, 2021
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has thrown his weight in support of another state in Eastern Nigeria just as he made damning allegations against the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike said he is supporting the creation of the additional State in the southeast geopolitical zone in order to correct the current imbalance in the six geopolitical zones.
According to him, ”there is no way the South-East should continue to have only five states. It is very unfair. Since other regions have six states, South-East should be made to have six states.”
Opening fire on APC, President Muhammadu Buhari’s party, he said the ruling party intends to use ongoing constitutional amendment to vest power on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to set up panel to hear appeal from election tribunal.
He is, therefore, urging members of the National Assembly to shun partisan politics and primordial sentiments and work for the interest of Nigerians.
Governor Wike was speaking when the Senate sub-committee on constitutional amendment for the South-South zone led by Senator George Sekibo paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor asserted that he has uncovered a plot by the APC to hide under the guise of constitutional amendment to deprive the President of the Court of Appeal the power to constitute a panel to hear appeal cases from election petition tribunal.
He is also frowning at an alleged attempt by the ruling party to use the Electoral Act amendment process to deny state High Court from hearing pre-election matters. According to him, the APC is scheming to vest power to exclusively hear such matters on Federal High Court.
He said it is important at this crucial period of the nation’s history, that the National Assembly should use the opportunity to amendment to correct a lot of anomaly in the 1999 Constitution.
He observed that though no constitution can be described as perfect, concerted effort must be made by federal lawmaker to deliver a better constitution for Nigeria.
The governor urged federal legislators from the South-South geopolitical zone to canvass for an upward review of the 13 percent derivation to 50 percent.
He further tasked them to press for the devolution of power, creation of state police, and strengthening of the federal character.
According to him, the prevailing situation where only persons from certain section of the country are appointed to sensitive positions is unacceptable.
“I think this is an opportunity for members of the National Assembly to say they are working for the interest of Nigeria and not for the party they belong. Because at the end of the day, if anything happens to the country, you will all be affected.”
Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on amendment of the Constitution which cover Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River, Senator Sekibo said the National Assembly has virtually completed the first processes of the review of the 1999 constitution.
“The House of Representatives and the Senate alone cannot amend the constitution of the great country, so we have come to reach out to our people to collate their views, and inputs they will make in the constitution.
“The constitution actually is supposed to be a law that is made by the people and so, we are here to collate views from major stakeholders in these three states and when we get back to Abuja, we will see how we can harmonize their views and those of other stakeholders already sent to us.”