Calling for a Referendum on the National Assembly
This petition had 3,351 supporters
In recent times, Nigerians have increasingly expressed discontent to the structure, composition and pay of the National Assembly (NA) and many have called for the scrapping of the NA, changing its status from fulltime to part time or restructuring it into a unicameral system.
The NA was established by and under the Constitution. Its structure, powers and functions were spelt out by the Constitution. The Constitution provides that it can only be amended through the NA. The NA will definitely not start any process that will negatively affect the powers and privileges of its members. So, asking the NA to scrap itself or even change its status from full time to part time is like urging a thief to punish himself.
Section 14 of the Constitution provides that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria. Therefore, I call on the Federal Government to organise a referendum on the National Assembly. The referendum should give Nigerians the option to choose between full and part time NA and the option to choose between unicameral and bicameral legislature and whether it is the House of Representatives or the Senate Nigerians want to keep.
Again, let me admit from the onset that, to my knowledge, the Constitution doesn't contemplate referenda on these issues. However, my sense of it is that Nigeria is a democratic state, the Constitution itself claims to be a product of the WILL of the people and provides under Section 14 that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria.
So, it is only fair that the will of Nigerians through referendum be allowed to override the constitution. This petition was initiated to put pressure on the Federal Government to organise a referendum to give us a voice on what kind and type federal legislature t we want: part time or full time? Unicameral or bicameral? Do want to continue with the House of Representatives or the Senate?
Audu Bulama Bukarti
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