Constitution Review: Akeredolu Advocates Unicameral Legislature, State Police

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Tuesday, advocated the adoption of a unicameral legislature in the country urging the nation to consider dropping the current bicameral structure of the National Assembly.

Akeredolu who stated this during the public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review in Akure, Ondo State capital, also called for part-time membership of the Assembly.

Akeredolu who was represented by his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, said “The Senate should be scrapped. The House of Representatives too should not be unwieldy. A maximum of four representatives should come from each zone.

“No member should earn allowances not known to the Revenue Mobilisation and Allocation Committee and, more importantly, people they claim to serve.

“Legislators should earn under a uniform salary structure. Allowance peculiarities must not be about obscenity.”

He maintained the position that the powers of the Federal Government must be trimmed down as it was the major friction in the country and politics of bitterness.

He said: “The position of the Ondo State Government has been made public. We advocate for a Federal Government largely reduced in size and scope of engagement.

“Items on the Exclusive List too must witness significant reduction. The Federal Government must not be seen to be competing with the states in service delivery to the people.

“Its role should be, largely, to coordinate the activities of government with minimal interference at the other tiers of government. It cannot legislate on residual matters as they concern the states.

“Devolution of powers must be far-reaching and immediate to reverse the slide into anarchy and economic doldrums. It is illogical to purport to run a Federal Government where all the constituent units depend, virtually, on monthly hand-outs for subsistence.

“Revenue generation and allocation must reflect the extent to which a state participates in the economy. It is anomalous to have a situation in which the Federal Government issues proclamations on the running of local governments.”

According to him, “the state propose, with vehemence, the creation of State Police. Having a Command structure of the Nigeria Police in a country of over 200 citizens, diverse and disparate, is incongruous. Countries with far smaller sizes seem to appreciate why such an arrangement cannot work.

“Policing is not politics. It is about the safety of lives and the property of the people. The establishment of a police service must be for this purpose. Recruitment, training and objective must be geared towards protecting the people. The knowledge of the terrain is key in an effective and efficient police system. Security is local.

“The pretence which continues to hold that the contrary is the case must be jettisoned. The success story of Amotekun in Ondo State, in particular, and the other South Western States, is a pointer to the imperative of taking policing to the grassroots. An effective structure will involve the people.

“The primary purpose for having a government is the security and welfare of the people. All provisions seeking to ensure that this is actualized must be justiciable. Any government which absolves itself of these responsibilities cannot pretend to represent the people, any arrangement which works against excludes the implementation of these lofty principles of quality living is organised banditry.”

He, however, advocated for a “Constitution that will enhance the performance of public office holders at all levels. It is possible to have a government that will serve the people in deed and truth.

“The law of the land must aid this realistic expectation. We must reduce the cost of governance and shift attention to service delivery in this trying period.

“We recommend, most enthusiastically, a return to the 1963 Republican Constitution. We will have resolved many fundamental issues of nationhood with the adoption.”

In his welcome address, the Deputy Speaker, Chairman House Committee on Constitution Review, Hon Ahmed Wase, said the review is target to bring about political changes that will unite Nigerians and bring prosperity and progress to the country.

Wase who was represented by the leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Peter Akpatason, said the Committee was put in place to know the view of the people on the Constitution and to make amendments where necessary.

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