Are we making the center stronger and the states weaker again?

At its plenary in Abuja, the lawmakers rejected the alteration of the Second Schedule, Parts I and II of the Constitution to move certain items to the Concurrent Legislative List to give more legislative powers to states.

The proposed amendment on power devolution was to also delineate the extent to which the federal legislature and state assemblies can legislate on the items that have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List.

After votes were taken, 46 senators voted for devolution of power, 48 voted against it, while one Senator abstained.

The Senate also approved the inclusion of former Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives in the Council of State.

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It accepted the removal of state independent electoral commission from the Constitution and the transfer of its functions to INEC.

The Senate also approved a restriction to the tenure of a President or governor, who had earlier been sworn in to complete a term.

The short title read, “This bill seeks to restrict a person who was sworn in as President or governor to complete the term of the elected President from contesting the same office for more than one term.”

Former President Goodluck Jonathan (then as Vice President) completed the first term of the late Umaru Yar’Adua and contested presidential election twice – in 2011 and 2015.

The senators equally approved the recommendation for immunity for the lawmakers for any of the actions during plenary.

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