by Ajadi Daniel
House of Representatives Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution at a retreat in Abuja made this recommendation. If this is accepted, the provision would be included in a new constitution to be passed by the National Assembly in 2018.
The retreat was organised by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre for the lawmakers. The review committee is chaired by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Yusuf Lasun.
Lawmakers after extensive debate on independent candidacy agreed that it would widen participation in the political process and reduce the influence of political parties on the choice of candidates for elections.
“After a robust debate on the clause contained in the amandment to the Electoral Act, members agreed that there is a need to test independent candidacy in our political space so as to reduce the imposition of candidates by political parties,” part of a statement on Sunday by Lasun’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Wole Oladimeji, read, accirding to punch newspaper.
Punch newspaper also reported that the statement clarified that the recommendation of the committee did not suggest that the amendment had been endorsed by the National Assembly. The statement quoted Lasun as saying that the recommendation would still be debated by members in plenary in line with the requirements for the constitution amendment bills.
The statement read further. “The chairman (Lasun) stated that the bill would be considered at the plenary so as to have members inputs and further subject the clause to a robust debate.”
Punch also reported that last week Friday, the committee also recommended financial autonomy for local government councils in the country.
What is your take on this, do you think Nigeria’s democracy is ripe enough to accommodate this provision?, Can it be sustained, and since this is still at the committee level, do you think the present National Assembly will pass the suggestion.