Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Wednesday said that Nigeria’s unity should remain sacrosanct as the country contemplates a review of the 1999 constitution.
Bello said this in Minna while inaugurating the North Central zonal meeting on the review of the 1999 Constitution review.
“In all Federal systems of government, restructuring is a dynamic process through legislation and other procedures accepted by the citizens as the need arises.
“However, there are varied perceptions to the constitutional review, but one thing that must remain sacrosanct is the unity of Nigeria.
“I believe we are better and stronger as one indivisible nation and that is the beauty of our democracy and true federalism,” he said.
Bello, who is also the chairman North Central Governor’s Forum, noted that calls for a review of the constitution was a welcome development and healthy for democratic growth.
He added that if well-articulated, implementation of its outcomes would guarantee better and inclusive economic growth, increased political stability and participation as well as enhanced peaceful coexistence.
He said that the meeting of the North Central states comprising Niger, Kogi, Kwara and Abuja, on the constitution review would outline and articulate the position of the region on some burning issues that concerned the unity and development of the country.
“This is very significant for us as a nation because Nigeria has evolved over time and for the country to attain its actual position in the comity of nations, we have to review these emerging issues,” he said.
The Governor urged Nigerians to consider the nature and type of constitution required to move the nation forward.
According to him, “we must look at issues such as autonomy for local government, legislature and judiciary.
“We also need to carefully consider the concurrent and exclusive lists; devolution of powers and other issues that are cardinal to the survival of the country.”
He enjoined the delegates to participate actively and diligently to ensure quality dialogue.
“Most importantly, the position of our various states that make up the zone should be well enunciated and articulated for us to arrive at a harmonious position for the zone,” he said.
Earlier, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Senate President and Chairman Senate Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution, said that the success of the exercise would depend on the corporation of the contributing stakeholders in the region.
“You are the pillars on which the committee’s work is to be anchored. That is why we deem it prudent to meet with you first.
“In other words, this exercise is your exercise, therefore I employ you all to embrace and own it,” he said.
Omo-Agege, who was represented by Sen. Aliyu Sabi, Niger North Senatorial District, assured the people that all their submmissions would be deliberated upon and considered.(NAN)