The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday, June 4, insisted on power devolution, fiscal federalism and creation of state police as a panacea for the unity and stability of the country.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Biriyai Dambo (SAN) stated the position of the government in Asaba, Delta State, during the South-South zonal public hearing on alterations to the 1999 Constitution.
.The two-day public hearing is being organised by the House of Representatives through its Special Committee on Constitution Review chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
The Senate carried out a similar exercise last week across the zones and, like that of the upper chamber, the public hearing involved stakeholders in Bayelsa, Delta and Edo states.
While presenting the memorandum of the people of Bayelsa State, Mr. Dambo said they were advocating full resource control of all natural resources located onshore and offshore of the federating states.
“We, therefore, support 100% ownership of mineral and other resources by the federating units and subsequent payment of taxes to the Federal Government” he said.
On the devolution of power, Dambo recommended that items among the 68 in the exclusive legislative list should be devolved to the federating states.
Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun made the presentation on behalf of the people and government of the state.
In his remark, Wase assured that the National Assembly would continue to do things that would promote the unity, happiness and prosperity of Nigeria.
On his part, Chairman of the Zonal Public Hearing and Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, noted that the 1999 Constitution is replete with grave defects.
He pointed out that the solution to such defects lies in statutory amendments to reflect the prevailing wishes, aspiration and demand of the people.
According to him, the public hearing offered “a voice as well as an ear to the aspiration of the people. Of course, any system that ignores such loud voice from the citizens is doing so at its own peril”.
Earlier, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa while declaring the public hearing open, expressed delight with the renewed drive to review the constitution.
Represented by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Okowa threw his weight behind the demand for devolution of power, review of revenue sharing formula, creation of state police and state and local government creation.