National News

Niger Delta Congress demands for new constitution

By Ebi Perekeme

The Niger Delta Congress (NDC) has demanded for a new constitution for Nigeria noting restructuring will pave the way for economic and political autonomy for the Niger Delta.

The organization position was presented to the Senator Betty Apiafi-chaired Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The spokesperson of the congress in Rivers, Ovunda Eni, said the NDC called for the removal of 45 items from the Exclusive Legislative list among other recommendations. Which include the Police, arms and ammunition, mines and minerals, and ports.

The return to the derivation formula as proposed by Hicks — Philipson Commission Report (1951) was also proposed by NDC.

The formula used as of October 1963, was also suggested where 50 percent should be for the production area, 35 percent to the state, and 15 percent to the Federal Government.

The NDC said it noticed the “glaring unseriousness of the committee from the conduct of the committee members”.

Stressed that its appearance at the public hearing was to put on record the stance of the Niger Delta regarding the 1999 constitution.

“We would like to categorically state that the NDC is against the 1999 Nigerian constitution as amended and calls for a brand new constitution.

“We would also like to state that the fate of the Niger Delta is not dependent on the actions or inaction of the committee, but in our hands as a people.

“The Niger Delta people do not plan on waiting on the committee to address the existential issues affecting the people and region.” According to the statement.

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