Suspend Constitutional Amendment for National Dialogue- NUJ tells Fed. Govt

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has suggested to the Federal Government that the National Assembly should suspend the constitutional amendment for the outcome of the national dialogue committee.

This, the National president of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mohammed Garba said is part of the measures that can be taken to make sure that Nigerians are given the privilege to discuss all pertinent issues during the proposed national conference.

While addressing a group of journalists in Abuja on Thursday,  Garba pointed out that “there should be no ‘no go’ areas during the dialogue”, if every concerned stakeholder is sincere about the continued existence of Nigeria as a country and as a nation.

“We hereby suggest that the National Assembly should suspend the constitutional amendment for the meantime, pending the outcome of the national dialogue committee; at the end, it will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration” he urged.

He said otherwise, it is tantamount to a duplication of efforts.

Garba also advised the government to ensure that the recommendations of the committee are implemented.

But he noted that the union is worried that the media is not represented in the national conference committee recently set up by the president.

“We need to be represented, Garba pointed out.

Nevertheless, he advised that those who will come out demanding for the division of the country “should be given the opportunity to express themselves”.

“Let’s hear from them and hear their reasons. That is why it is a dialogue”, he further advised.

“We are also aware here in Nigeria, we had the privilege of having similar committees in the past that were carefully selected and credible, but unfortunately, their recommendations were not utilised.

“Therefore, the government must ensure that the outcome of the recommendations is seriously implemented for us to ensure our continuous survival.”

He noted that the major factor that will make Nigerians happy is to see that the dialogue yields the desired results.

However, Garba charged the Federal Government to avoid a clash between the constitutional role of the National Assembly and the terms of reference of the committee.

He also urged the media to maintain neutrality as well as balance of reportage on the issues to be discussed during the dialogue “in order to present the true picture of the exercises” to the members of the public.

“But, what is going to happen to the constitutional amendment? All the issues to be discussed in the national dialogue, such as state creation, are also the issues in contention before the constitutional amendment.

“We have seen some eminent Nigerians selected as members of the committee. For us, it is a very good development because people have been agitating for it”, he noted.

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