Constitutional Review: Akwa Ibom Calls Free Education, State Police

Akwa Ibom State government has advocated making free education and compulsory education from primary to secondary level a constitutional issue in order to ensure that all Nigerian children benefit from education in their early lives.

Governor Udom Emmanuel who said this at the South-South public hearing of the review o the 1999 constitution held at Uyo on Tuesday, also stressed that states should be allowed to control their resources so that they could develop at their own pace.

Emmanuel who was represented by the secretary to Akwa Ibom State government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem reasoned that the present high rate of insecurity could be better handle if the constitution makes room for the establishment of state police.

He however said that the state believes in one indivisible entity called Nigeria in which everyone’s rights and privileges would be protected and guaranteed.

.In his welcome address, the minority whip of the House of Representatives, and chairman, South-South (Uyo Zone) of the House of Reps Committee on the constitution review public hearing, Mr Gwani Gideon Lucas, said the committee was in the zone to address certain aspects of the 1999 constitution and find solutions to its multifaceted challenges including disaffection over the federal system of government, banditry and kidnapping, perceived injustice in appointments revenue allocation and ethnic militia that is threatening the corporate existence of the country.

He said the committee would also receive memoranda from various groups including institutions, professional bodies, socio-cultural organizations and other ‘strategic stakeholders’ stating their propositions for the amendment of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.’’

The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike who was represented by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Zaccheaus Adangor advised members of the committee not to waste time in ensuring that the amendment is promptly implemented after collating all submissions and memoranda by the people

While lamenting that the cost of elections today is tremendously expensive, making it difficult for public office holders to do what their communities want, Wike called for outright drafting of a new constitution where input from every segment of the society would be considered since the present 1999 constitution has outlived its usefulness.

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