Akeredolu advocates scrapping of senate

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*Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

The governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday advocated the scrapping of the senate with each zone having equal number of four representatives at the national assembly.

Akeredolu made the call at the Akure Centre of the Southwest Zonal Public Hearing, organised by the House of Representatives Special Committee on Constitution Review.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, said the country should consider dropping the current bicameral structure of the National Assembly and adopt a unicameral legislature.

“The membership of the Assembly should be part time. No member should earn allowances not known to the Revenue Mobilisation and Allocation Committee, and the people they claim to serve.

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

“The House of Representatives too should not be unwieldy. A maximum of four representatives should come from each zone,” he said.

Akeredolu said all issues which elicited distrust and suspicion must be investigated dispassionately.

“Nobody must be shut out; all must be treated equally. All decisions must be anchored on the principles of equity and justice,” he said.

The governor noted that constitution review was an important assignment which must be undertaken with all seriousness.

Akeredolu also stated that revenue generation and allocation must reflect the extent to which a state participates in the economy.

“Ministries, departments and agencies must be pruned to reflect the socio-economic realities of the moment.

“The government at the centre must divest itself of this self-inflicted heavy burden, for effective and impactful performance,” he noted.

He later called for state police, resource control, judicial reforms, especially with zones having their court of appeals.

Akeredolu concluded by a return to the 1963 Republican Constitution, saying, “We will have resolved many fundamental issues of nationhood with the adoption.”

Earlier, the chairman of the south-west zonal public hearing, Akure Centre, Mr. Peter Akpatason, said the event was important to have input from the people.

Akpatason, who is a deputy leader in the house, said the constitution was made for the people and could not be done without adequate input from the society.

Also, Olubaka of Oka Akoko, Yesufu Adeleye, called for special designated roles for traditional institutions in the country’s constitution.

The traditional ruler noted that the problem and challenges facing the country originated from the 1999 constitution.

In 2019, the governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, advocated the scrapping of the Senate in order to save cost and reduce financial burden on the government.

Fayemi spoke at one of the panel sessions on the sidelines of the 25th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme, ‘Nigeria 2050: Shifting gears,’ as reported by the Punch.

Fayemi said the type of legislative system that would be more productive for Nigeria in this current economic situation “is a unicameral legislature.”

“We do need to look at the size of government in Nigeria and I am an advocate of a unicameral legislature. What we really need is the House of Representatives, because that is what it represents,” the governor said.

“You have three senators from little Ekiti and you have three senators from Lagos State.

“It’s a no-brainer that it’s unequal, I guess the principle is not proportionality but that if you are a state, you get it automatically.

In 2016, the senate rejected a nominee for the governing board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Aliyu Sa’ida Abubakar, for calling for the scrapping of the upper legislative chamber.

During the screening by the Senate Committee on Communications on October 18, 2016, its members confronted Abubakar with evidence that he led a protest against the national assembly.

The nominee reportedly admitted doing so and maintained his position.

“Abubakar’s response to the questions and issues raised by the committee unveils him as a candidate who is not prepared for the demands of office,’’ Gilbert Nnaji, the then chairman of the committee, said.

In 2019, the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, lamented the cost of running the Senate and called for the reduction in the number of senators from each state from three to one in order to save cost.

NAN

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