Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olukayode Fayemi
Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Adewale Ominrin, has disclosed that lawmakers in the South-west geo-political zone of the country would soon convoke a South-west Parliamentary Conference to fashion a legal framework for easy execution and sustainability of Regional Integration Agenda of the governors in the zone.
Ominrin, who also doubles as the Vice-Chairman, Conference of Speakers, South-west zone, made the disclosure yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, while fielding questions from journalists during the celebrations of the Ed-El-Fitri, also used the occasion to refute the insinuations in some quarters that the planned Regional Integration Policy was succession agenda.
He stated this, just as he put his support behind the call for the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC), rather than the frequent constitutional amendment, which he said could not take the country to nowhere.
Ominrin predicated his assertion on the fact that the National Assembly is only constitutionally empowered with the responsibility of amending the constitution for good governance and not to rewrite the constitution.
According to him, the South-west economic agenda was an attempt to put the zone on the fast lane of economic development as witnessed under the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and expand the frontiers of socio-economic and political interactions of the states in the geo-political zone.
Omirin said the legal framework to drive the integration policy became imperative following political dynamism of the region, adding that “even if another party came on board , which may not be possible with the performances of the ACN governors, the programme will still continue since there is a law in place.”
He maintained that the programme was to further develop the region in the areas of road construction, agricultural and health developments, rural water and electrification development, higher education attainment among others.
The speaker, who said the conference would have come up almost immediately, lamented that little financial crisis is delaying the urgency of the conference.
He noted further that if the region could get itself together and carry out the agenda successfully, such would put permanent stop to the frequent agitation in some quarters on the need to belong to the mainstream.
He declared that several times that the zone has been in the mainstream or belongs to the party at the national level, it has ever been a disaster for the people of the South-west.
“We have gone to the so-called mainstream twice, and twice we have burnt our fingers, without any reasonable things to show for it. “Therefore it is high time we retraced our steps, which we are currently doing, according to the programmes of our governors,” he said.
Speaking further on the convocation of the SNC, Ominrin noted that the National Assembly only has the power to amend and not to rewrite the constitution.
“With this, it will be difficult for Nigeria to witness the right constitutional democracy if the right constitution is not put in place.
“As things stand now, many sections of our constitution should be rewritten and not just amended so there is no way a Sovereign National Conference that will comprise of true representatives of the people will not be convoked to rewrite the country’s constitution,” he said.