REMARKS BY GOVERNOR HOPE UZODIMMA AT THE PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 16TH 2021 IN OWERRI
I most sincerely welcome the chair constitution amendment committee of National Assembly (House of Representatives) who are in Imo state for this public hearing aimed at generating quality inputs for the alteration of the 1999 constitution. I also welcome in a special way our brothers and sisters from Abia state who are here with us for the exercise.
I am glad that in spite of the recent security breaches in our state, you are here to attend to this national assignment which in no small measure will help solve the national question of justice and equity in a United Nigeria where all of us will be proud of, as citizens.
As Nigerians, we all want a country that should accommodate our legitimate desires without compromising the rights of others. It goes without saying therefore that the constitutional amendments that we all seek will address our fears as well as our expectations.
For us in the South East, we have made it abundantly clear that we believe in a United Nigeria that works for the benefit of all. Last week, when the leaders of the South East met with the Presidential delegation led by the Hon Minister of Defence, we reiterated our stand that we don’t support secession. We also reaffirmed our quest for an equitable country where our youths do not get conflicting signals of being second-class citizens.
Fortunately, we are in a democracy where questions of doubt are resolved through dialogue and robust debate and not through violence or insurrection. That’s why this public hearing is most auspicious for the people of the South East.
As I canvassed when your colleagues from the Senate were here, the demand of our people is very simple. We want a Constitution that works for us, that accommodates us as equal citizens, that guarantees us justice, equity and fair play, a Constitution that makes us proud to be Nigeria.
Broadly speaking, our people want a Constitution that devolves more power to the federating units, that gives vent to restructuring, that allows for greater autonomy without losing the essence of the federation. In whatever name that it is called, we need a Constitution that will make us stay together as one country comfortably.
I am sure that Ohanaeze Ndigbo on behalf of Igbos would canvass our position before you. I am also sure that various Interest groups would also canvass their various positions. That is the beauty of democracy. Plurality of ideas distilled in a democratic Ambien makes for a strong Government. But I think that Ndigbo will begin to see equity in action when an amended Constitution of the Federal Republic gives birth to a sixth state for them. This will go a long way to assuage their present worries.
Put succinctly, our people want a Constitutional guarantee of their inalienable rights as citizens, and that must include a palpable sense of justice, equity and fairness. I dare say that a sixth state will go a long way in this regard.
I, therefore, call on all Nigerians to take advantage of the opportunity presented by this exercise to present their memoranda and stop this blame game. Our constitution provides separation of power, it is the National Assembly that will alter, amend our constitution be it for state, police restructuring or additional states to be created not President Buhari.
While I welcome you once more to Imo state, the Eastern Heartland and home of hospitality let me commend the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Ahmed Idris Wase for his patriotic services to our nation as the chairman of the House Committee on the review of the Constitution. I wish to also express my gratitude to every Nigerian who believes in the achievements of our shared goals through a peaceful and transparent process such as this public hearing.
I wish you safe trips back to your respective stations.
Thank you all for your attention and May God bless all of us
Sen. Hope Uzodimma
Governor, Imo State
Governor Uzodimma receives Report by the Panel on police Brutality on the complaint led by EndSARS Youths Protest.
The Committee was headed by Hon. Justice Duruoha-Igwe