The President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, Thursday assured Nigerians that the National Assembly has no hidden agenda in the amendment of the constitution.
Mark also said the legislature will not in any way foist its opinion on Nigerians when amending the statute book, adding that majority opinions of Nigerians shall ultimately count at the end of the day.
The Senate President spoke at the opening ceremony of the public hearing on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, organised by the Senate Committee on Review of the Constitution (SCRC).
He said: “Let me assure you also that whatever view you espouse here shall ultimately count. In this most solemn task, the National Assembly neither harbours any presumptions, hidden agenda, preconceptions, nor an intention to foist a fait accompli.
“It is the ultimate synthesis of the desires of the people of Nigeria, analysed and carefully considered in the context of modern realities that will prevail.”
According to him, what National Assembly will resist is an attempt by any vocal minority to tyrannically hijack and impose its view on the majority opinions.
“I am overwhelmed to see, gathered under this roof, an impressive array of citizens, drawn from all walks of life, all eager to make suggestions and contributions to our search for the way forward. Your patriotic and enthusiastic response is an evidence once more that our people desire to live in a democratic, united and prosperous Nigeria, governed in accordance with constitutional norms,” he said.
In reviewing the 1999 Constitution, Mark said the National Assembly will however hold certain fundamental ideals sacrosanct, and will also resist any attempt to erode them.
He said: “Any constitution worth its salt must guarantee periodic elections, fundamental rights, a system of checks and balances, the principle of separation of powers, a vibrant legislature, a dynamic executive, an independent judiciary, and a free press. “We will therefore work to deepen these fundamental principles, and to strengthen the institutions which guarantee them.
“The success of the exercise therefore requires the participation, commitment and co-operation of other key stakeholders who must be carried along.
“These include the Houses of Assembly of the states, the federal and state governments, and the general public.”
Meanwhile, THISDAY has gathered that state creation topped the memoranda received by the legislature.