Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged the National Assembly to consider amending the 1999 Constitution towards granting special economic status to Lagos State because of the burdens, which the state carries and the roles it plays in the country.
The governor, who spoke, yesterday, at the South-West zonal public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Special Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, in Lagos, said the continuous request for a special status for the state, was by no means a selfish one, but actually in the interest of every Nigerian and Nigeria, as a nation, as the progress and prosperity of the country is linked to that of Lagos. He said the need for special status had been sufficiently articulated and justified.
Sanwo-Olu, while stating the issues of state police and fiscal federalism as top priority for the state in the ongoing review process, represented by his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, emphasised that a special status for Lagos must be a concern, not only of the people of the state, but of all Nigerians.
He stressed that true democracy was all about the exercise of the sovereign will of the people and that “voices and wishes of the people must always be heard loud and clear, regarding how they are being governed and how they wish to be governed.”
Sanwo-Olu said that the constitutional amendment process would provide Nigerians the opportunity to express their minds on the issues they want to see reflected in the constitution either by way of amendments to existing provisions or entirely new provisions.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, in his remarks, enjoined Nigerians to take the ongoing constitutional amendment seriously.
saying that “the process of review and amendment will give the nation a near perfect constitution, which will resolve the issue of identity, political structure, human rights, administration of government, resource control, national security and things that have hindered progress and prosperity.”
Also, the Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, said the review was part of the efforts of the lower chamber of the National Assembly to ensure a participatory and inclusive approach in the review process.