The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria yesterday constituted a constitutional review committee to articulate and submit its inputs in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution.
The conference, an umbrella body of 36 speakers of the federation, also directed all state assemblies nationwide to pass the Funds Management Bill for effective implementation of the financial autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary.
These were revealed in a communiqué the conference issued yesterday at the end of its meeting held at the Hazibal Event Centre in Bauchi, the Bauchi State capital.
The communiqué was signed by the chairman of the conference and Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Mr. Suleiman Abubakar.
In its communiqué yesterday, the conference expressed deep concern over the spate of insecurity in Nigeria and recommended community policing as a way out of the security challenges facing the country.
While commending the federal government on its efforts at fighting insecurity in the country, the speakers called on it to tinker with the security architecture to reflect the demographic reality of Nigeria.
It appealed to the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) to exercise restraint in its struggle, saying a committee has been set up to engage the association with a view to resolving the lingering issues that led to its recent industrial action.
The conference, however, expressed appreciation to Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, for the warm reception he extended to its members during their stay in the state for their general meeting.
Announcing their resignation and subsequent defection yesterday, Nwebonyi said the decision was as a result of the undemocratic practices bedevilling the PDP.
At the stadium, the APC Caretaker Chairman in Ebonyi State, Mr. Stanley Emegha received Nwebonyi and other defectors to the fold of the APC.
He, thus, urged them to go to their various wards and register with the APC.
In a communiqué, Nwebonyi had expressed dissatisfaction at the leadership in Southeast PDP and the national secretariat on the issue of zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket
The communique said: “It is worthy of note that the national and zonal leadership of the party had intentionally excluded Ebonyi State Chapter from the Zonal Executive Committee (ZEC) that organised the recent zonal congress of the party.
“This is in total disregard to the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki which recognized the elected executives of the party in Ebonyi State.
“The national leadership of the party also blatantly rebuffed all efforts made by the leadership of the state chapter of the party for due process to be followed.
“We want to use this opportunity to express our dissatisfaction and rejection of the recently held Southeast Zonal Congress and the stand of the party on zoning in respect of the 2023 presidential ticket.
“Daily Sun on March 18, 2021 reported that the 2019 Election Review Committee of the PDP rejected zoning in the 2023 presidential election and recommended open bid for the party’s presidential ticket. This is a clear violation of the existing zoning arrangement of the party.
“This stand is a sabotage of the genuine efforts and unalloyed support the people of the Southeast have given for the success of the party since 1999. It has shown that the power brokers in the party are bent on marginalizing the Southeast which is contrary to the principle of federal character.
“In the light of the foregoing, we wish to express our total rejection of the anti-democratic practices in the party and therefore resign our positions as well as our membership of the party.
“We have made genuine efforts to get things done the right way but some leaders of the party are bent on using antics and gimmicks to achieve their inordinate ambitions.”
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Silas Onu yesterday, the PDP said Nwebonyi had since lost his membership of the PDP after his expulsion.
He noted that the resignation from the party and defection to the APC was a mere jamboree.
He called on all PDP faithfuls “to remain resolute and focused on the responsibility of reinvigorating themselves for a successful and total takeover of government come 2023.”
On its part, the state government described the defection of the former PDP executives as an indication that everyone is leaving the Party.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Mr. Uchenna Orji said: “Everybody is leaving PDP. Every governor in the Southeast is leaving PDP.
“Every leader of PDP is abandoning PDP for APC to take our pride of place in the party at the centre. What about you? Change before it’s too late,” the commissioner said in a statement.
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