The Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution has pointed out that the calls for a Sovereign National Conference remains untenable, their reason being that there can only be one sovereignty in a nation. This was contained in a summary of issues at the end of the committee’s retreat in Asaba as read by the Senate Leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba on Saturday.
However, the Senate said it recognizes the right of Nigerians to hold opinions and to freely associate. According to the statement, “The committee reiterates the fact that there can be no other sovereignty that can be derived from the constitution and that sovereignty is derived from the 1999 constitution; no nation can have two sovereignties at the same time… The insistence in certain quarters for a sovereign national conference is untenable as there can only be one sovereignty in a nation.’’
Meanwhile, former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sani Yerima, and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah – both panellists at the ongoing retreat for members of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Asaba – on Saturday disagreed on the role of government in the country’s religious affairs when the amended parts of the current constitution become operational.
They also took different positions on government’s sponsorship of pilgrimages. While Yerima warned against expunging religion from the ongoing amendment, Kukah maintained that religion should not be the business of the state, noting that the government should face more critical areas of development.