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Sunday, 30 July 2017

INTERVIEW: We Need Conversation to Reassure More People - IKE EKWEREMADU

Executive Chairman of the National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, in this meeting on ARISE News Network, the communicate wing of THISDAY, talked on rebuilding and how it could be accomplished through protected audit process. He additionally tended to other topical national issues. The meeting was directed before the National Assembly voted on the constitution revision bills. Damilola Oyedele presents the extracts:

As the Deputy Senate President, and an individual from the National Assembly, would you say you are for or against the kind of rebuilding that was portrayed by previous Vice-President Atiku Abubakar?

I concur totally with him, yet I said few out of every odd other Nigerian will acknowledge. It is quite recently that you have to give them a chance to comprehend what really matters to it. Along these lines, in the event that you like call - it change, so you can utilize it conversely with the word change and after that they will have the capacity to comprehend and tail it. In any case, in the event that you utilize the word rebuilding, many individuals won't get it. So in the event that you need everyone to comprehend what you are stating, you may state change and afterward they will have the capacity to solicit, 'what sort from change would you say you are discussing?'

This inquiry rotates around the inclination that individuals have. They have attempted what is accessible since the upset of 1966, that euphoric expectation created by freedom, which is by and large reliably dissolved in the brains of many individuals by a focal government, which has essentially not worked the way they might want it to work. In their brains, all they appear to have gotten is debasement, oppression and neediness. A great many people concurred that the circumstance is so critical and is basically unsustainable, which is the reason they are calling for rebuilding. Do you think prominent weight can constrain political change here in this occurrence?

As of now we are experiencing some level of rebuilding and that was the reason when I stated, on the off chance that you utilize this thing (rebuilding) in theory you will start to make superfluous issue. By and by, there is a progressing change to the constitution and something we are taking a gander at is how would we decay powers from the government to the state? A circumstance, where you have more than 60 things in the selective rundown of the organization, those are the things that exclusive the central government can make laws on, to have the capacity to draw strategies, and the one inside the states government, which is known as the simultaneous rundown of around 16 things, so we say that is inversion of what ought to be the genuine position in an elected framework.

In this way, when we are looking at rebuilding, which I said you may utilize the word change for, all we have to do, is placed it such that the states, which are the part units of the organization, will have the capacity to have more powers. In any case, it accompanies a considerable measure of issues, in light of the fact that on the off chance that you give them more powers they have to likewise have more assets. In this way, when you are discussing the devolution of forces you are additionally discussing monetary federalism. These are the issues we have to take a gander at.

And afterward, obviously, I talked about the issue of security, in light of the fact that preceding 1966, we had some level of policing at the local level and in the event that you review as well, in the 30s preceding the national police came, we had local specialist police. In this way, we had some sort of decentralized police before the legislature of Nigeria presented national police, which ended up plainly government police when we turned into an alliance.

In this way, in 1966, when Aguiyi Ironsi came, they set up a board to take a gander at the issues. Of course, before military response to questions, they said let us simply get rid of these individuals, and have a government police, rather than settling the issue, which accompanied a decentralized policing. That was the place we missed the point as far as the inner security and we have not possessed the capacity to gain ground from that point forward. We have outfitted burglary, seizing, we now have fear based oppression and it will proceed until the point when we backpedal to the premise of ensuring that there is a policeman in all aspects of Nigeria. This can't occur in the government set up that we are honing now: elected policing, on the grounds that no nation does that on the planet.

Along these lines, in the event that you have a multi-ethnic culture, the typical suggestion is to run a government framework for which decentralized policing, not only the state police, decentralized policing goes past simply having police at the state level. You may need to have police at the nearby government level, in some basic establishments like the colleges and the National Assembly. The essential thing is the means by which we organize it, to ensure that no one is mishandling it, that it is very much planned, that there is a database where everyone enters in. This is the thing that we ought to be discussing, yet in the event that we keep on doing what we are doing, we will keep running into issue.

I was once taken by furnished thieves or ruffians in the event that you like. They took me for like two days. I saw the insufficiencies of our police, since we passed a few checkpoints. The kind of policing we have is not supportable and it is bad for the sort of our structure. Along these lines, we have to discover the sort of police that can suit our motivation. In the event that we do that, we will have the capacity to secure the general population and their properties. Keep in mind that the constitution says that the basic role of government is the security and welfare of the general population. The main thing we have to do is to ensure we are secured, regardless of the possibility that you don't give them occupations they can search for their own employment. Be that as it may, in the event that you give occupations and after that you don't give security, at that point no one goes out for the employment. Yet, the main way you can give that is to manufacture the interior security, which just a decentralized police can accomplish. That is one part of rebuilding we have to take a gander at.

Is this one of the issues you have been taking a gander at as the seat of the advisory group on constitution change?

Keep in mind that we have been on this business for some time. The main endeavor was by the then Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu. The activity finished when we had this third term brought into the change procedure. In the end they acquired a considerable measure of issues, thus once that was vanquished, the entire thing went down the deplete. When I went ahead board in 2007 as the agent Senate President, I turned into the executive of this advisory group on sacred alteration. Something we did was to state we will do an incremental approach. We need to do one thing at any given moment as opposed to doing everything. In 2010, we spearheaded the principal revision; no one has ever changed the constitution in this specific republic with the exception of when we came in.

Would you be able to now observe why individuals are eager in the event that you have been there since 2007 and you are refering to one case in 2010?

I am will refer to a few occurrences however the point I am making is that it must be continuous; it must be incremental. On the off chance that you need to do everything in the meantime, everything will fall and as you do these things, you have to manufacture agreement. That is the way it will work. Others fizzled in light of the fact that they thought they could simply come and put it on the floor and begin voting. It will come up short. Along these lines, that is the issue.

What we did was that in 2010, the primary issue we had was when President Yar'Adua turned out to be sick. In the constitution, the arrangement there was that if the President needs to travel, possibly in the event that he is incapacitated, he needs to handover to the VP. The constitution did not give what happens on the off chance that he goes outside and neglected to give that exchange. Thus when it got to a point we expected to alter the constitution to give the time span of 21 days: that if the President had voyage and he should handover to his Vice and he has not done that, following 21 days he (VP) turns into an acting president.

Presently there was a decision coming in 2011 and encounter had demonstrated that the main part of the issues we had were with the appointive change. Along these lines, we began to manage constituent changes. Before 2011, in the event that you run a decision, by one means or another it closes at the tribunal, where you might be for four, five, or even six years. When I got into the Senate in 2003, I had some of my associates who came in 1999, whose issues at the tribunals were not decided until the point when they returned to the Senate in 2003. Some had completed their residency and the tribunal was stating that they should not to have been chosen in any case. In this way, we said we can't proceed with that sort of misnomer.

In 2010, we concentrated on appointive changes. Something we said was that if there was race tribunal, you should document the race request of inside a specific period – it must be finished up inside 180 days if there are claims – in 60 days most extreme it is closed. Along these lines, that gave individuals a feeling that the race would end at some point; the petitions emerging in this manner should likewise end. Thus, we settled that and we proceeded in that way and we have been doing it slowly as issues emerge.

In 2014, we did a more complete correction, which was taken to the president at that point and we had a few discussions with respect to whether it was marked or not. In any case, the vital thing was that it was not marked, so now we needed to start from the very beginning again when we returned to this eighth National Assembly. A portion of the issues that we should have put behind us are what we are managing now, similar to we managed the alteration on the issue of devolution of forces extensively. In the event that it was marked at that point, now we would have been discussing perhaps state policing and stuff that way. Around then that we were doing the revision many individuals were against that sort of policing however now it is starting to get some acknowledgment and even the acting president himself is stating that is the approach.