The Chairman PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, says current efforts at restructuring Nigeria will not achieve success if not channelled through the amendments of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly.
Tambuwal, who is the governor of Sokoto State, was quoted as saying this on Monday in Abuja, at the opening of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit tagged: “Building Partnerships for Resilience”.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Abubakar Shekara, the governor, however, warned that the nation must avoid a repeat of the mistake of 2015 when a robust attempt by the House of Representatives to amend the constitution was rejected at the last minute.
Tambuwal, who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2015, said that although current efforts at restructuring were good, the plans could only be actualised via the constitution’s amendments.
“As it were at the moment, whatever you are going to do about the constitution has been prescribed by the constitution and how you are going to do it.
“The constitution has prescribed how a word in that constitution is going to be amended.
“Except of course, if we are saying we are going to jettison the National Assembly and the state Assemblies in getting it done, which is not possible,” he said.
Tambuwal said that the nation’s restructuring could only be done through the introduction of bills at the National Assembly, debates at the National Assembly, public hearings and getting the concurrence of the 36 State Houses of Assembly.
He said that what the House of Representatives did in 2015 was to debate the issues after Nigerians had their own debates, while their views were collated and synthesised into a bill that was presented to the then President Goodluck Jonathan for assent.
The governor said that previous constitutional conferences organised by ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan failed because their resolutions were not translated into legislation.
“So you cannot go outside of the constitution to amend the constitution; we better come to terms with this realisation, agree to come together and agree on how best we can work together to achieve what the nation desires,” he said.