By Stephen Adeleye
The Christian Association of Nigeria (NAN) has emphasized the need to ensure equity for all, recognition of traditional and religious leaders in the proposed amendment of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution.
The CAN Chairman, Kogi chapter, Bishop Dr John Ibenu,stated this on Wednesday at the Two-Day North-Central Zonal Public Hearing on the ongoing Constitutional Amendments in Lokoja.
Ibenu noted that Kogi CAN was in tandem with the position of the National CAN on constitutional review as presented by its National President, His Eminence Dr. Samson Ayokunle.
He stressed the need for women empowerment through education and inheritance, equality of all persons before the law, and maintaining the secularity of Nigeria.
CAN also agitated for the confederation of independent regions or a federation of States or regions, and ensuring the financial autonomy and independence of Judiciary.
”We want recognition of traditional rulers and religious leaders, constitutional backing for the operational decentralisation and regionalisation for law enforcement agencies.
”Redefinition of courts of Superior jurisdiction to accommodate the regional and regional system with respective Appellate structure.
”Separation of office of Attorney General from the Office of the Minister of Justice, proper definition of residency and indigene rights
”Creation of new States vis-à-vis Southern Kaduna/Kataf/Gurara State, Cross River North State, Okun State, Okigwe State, Oke-Ogun Stàte.
”Constitutional provisions for enforcement of our fundamental human rights. All faith must be consulted and carried along.
”Strengthening and fast tracking the processes of the court”, Ibenu said.
He, however noted that no perfect constitution, but the implementors should always ensure that the right thing are done at the right to ensure equity, fairness and justice for all.
On its part, the Okun Development Association (ODA) who made presentation on behalf of Okun Yoruba People of Kogi State, expressed their full support for restructuring and power devolution.
Mr Jibril Yusuf, who made the presentation for ODA, expressed the support of the entire Okun people for the restructuring of Nigeria to bring about a truly federal republic with its fundamental elements.
”Specific clear constitutional clauses should be made to enforce rotation of Executive and Legislative positions among the component part of the federal, regional, state and local government areas, to forestall objectionable domination by any group over the others.
”Clear clause should be inserted in the constitution to protect minority rights and privileges in the form of a Bill of Rights”, Yusuf said.
NAN reports that 97 per cent of individuals, groups and organisations that made presentation at the public hearing, expressed their full support for restructuring, devolution of power, creation of states, among others.
Others that made presentations include: Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA), Ebira Peoples Association (EPA) NMA, NBA, and Police Service Commission (PSC).
Others were: Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Magistrate Association of Nigeria, Muslim Conference, Igala Strategic Team, among others.