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CONSTITUTION REVIEW: SOUTHWEST GOVS, SENATORS, REPS MEET IN ABUJA

•Set Up Committee To Harmonize Positions

Southwest Governors on Tuesday evening met with Senators and House of Representatives members from the zone in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The meeting was well attended by all the six Southwest Governors and the National Assembly members from the zone.

Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, who briefed reporters shortly after the closed door meeting, said the meeting discussed so many areas of interest, particularly, constitutional amendments.

He said the Governors and the National Assembly members have agreed to present a common position as regards the constitutional amendments.

Governor Akeredolu also disclosed that a committee has been set up to harmonize the positions of the Governors and lawmakers from the zone.

He said: “The meeting, which had Governors, distinguished Senators and members of the House of Representatives, discussed so many areas of interest.

“But most importantly, the meeting today deliberated on constitutional amendments. And we have resolved that we would present a common position as regards amendments to the constitution.

“In order to achieve this, this meeting has set up a committee. The committee is made up of distinguished Senators led by the caucus chairman, House of Representatives members led by the Caucus chairman, and Attorneys of the Southwest states.

“The Committee is to harmonize our positions so that we can present it as and when necessary before the two houses and, at the end of the day, have the Constitutional amendment that has our serious input.”

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Confusion over South-West APC meeting, Fashola, Aregbesola not invited

Progressives Congress leaders as invitation to the excluded the party’s key stakeholders in the zone.

In the notice of the meeting signed by a former National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, those invited to the meeting included the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; a former Ogun State Governor, Chief Segun Osoba, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd); the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and another party leader, Chief Pius Akinyelure.

Other are the Ondo State Governor,  Rotimi Akeredolu; his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi; Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; the Osun State Governor,  Adegboyega Oyetola;  Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos State and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission,  Alhaji Musiliu Smith.

A chieftain of the party, who confided in one of our correspondents, said he did not understand why the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and his counterpart for Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, were not invited to the meeting.

Another top official of the APC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated, “If two former governors were at the meeting, I expected the ministers to be there. They are key stakeholders too.”

Mr Lani Baderinwa, an aide in charge of Public Communication for Chief Bisi Akande, could not be reached for comment on the matter.

Calls to his line did not go through and the reply to text message sent to him on whether the ministers were invited , was still being expected as of the time of filing this report.

Also, Sola Fasure, an aide to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, did not respond to text message asking if the ex Osun governor was invited. He did not pick calls to his mobile line as of the time of filing this report.

Similarly, Hakeem Bello, the spokesman for the Minister for Works and Housing could not be reached.

However, one of his former aides in Lagos, who declined to be named, said the minister did not mention about the meeting.

“I cannot say if he was invited or not; he never mention a meeting in Lagos to us,” he said.

But a source the meeting who spoke to one of our correspondents, said there was no hidden agenda in exclusion of some key stakeholders.

He said, “This is just the first in a series of meetings. They were not invited to this one because the issue at hand at the moment is internal.

“This is like foundation laying, they will be invited subsequently. The fact that they were not invited to this one is not to slight anyone.”

Source: Punch News.

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