The Niger Delta Congress (NDC) has reacted to the ongoing constitution review by the National Assembly.
Presenting its position to the Senator Betty Apiafi-chaired Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the organization demanded a new constitution for Nigeria and insisted restructuring will pave the way for economic and political autonomy for the Niger Delta.
A statement by Ovunda Eni, the spokesperson of the congress in Rivers, said the NDC, among other recommendations, called for the removal of 45 items from the Exclusive Legislative list.
These include the Police, arms and ammunition, mines and minerals, and ports.
The NDC proposed a return to the derivation formula as proposed by Hicks — Philipson Commission Report (1951).
The report also suggested that 50 percent should be for the production area, 35 percent to the state, and 15 percent to the Federal Government. The formula was in use as of October 1963.
The NDC said it noticed the “glaring unseriousness of the committee from the conduct of the committee members”.
The organization stressed that its appearance at the public hearing was to put on record the stance of the Niger Delta regarding the 1999 constitution.
“We would like to categorically state that the NDC is against the 1999 Nigerian constitution as amended and calls for a brand new constitution.
“We would also like to state that the fate of the Niger Delta is not dependent on the actions or inaction of the committee, but in our hands as a people.
“The Niger Delta people do not plan on waiting on the committee to address the existential issues affecting the people and region”, the statement added.