By Li Aleke
Many aspects of Nigeria’s constitution need to be amended to empower Nigerian women and the political less privileged to strengthen the nation’s democracy, Sam Ekwueme, candidate of All Progressives Congress for Igboetiti/Uzo-Uwani Federal Constituency of Enugu State, told newsmen on Wednesday in Enugu.
He said his bid to represent his constituency is for pragmatic representation, which he said had eluded his people since the beginning of the current democratic dispensation.
According to him, “Women are the engine of economic growth, the engine of social growth, and the engine of family growth. Unfortunately, there is discrimination against women in our society. So, many laws need to be amended and new laws enacted to empower our women.”
He blamed the poor governance in Nigeria on lack of proactive legislation in terms of oversight. Quoting him, “The legislators have what we call oversight functions as entrenched in the constitution. After making the laws and they are poorly implemented or not satisfactorily implemented, we also have that oversight functions to say that there are gaps here that must be filled.
“It is not about abdicating that responsibility and saying that the executive has failed. The oversight function is basically to make the executive do the right thing at the right time.
“In terms of legislation, one of the things we all look forward to in this country is moving some items from the exclusive list to the concurrent list. That way we would empower the sub-nationals.
“We need to empower the sub-nationals so that everybody does not start running to Abuja. That is one area and it is a lot. A lot can be done in that space. There is also the need to develop a framework for collaboration. This can be achieved through a legislative framework that will enhance collaboration between the sub-nationals.
“We will have a framework to collaborate amongst states and local government areas. There are lots that the legislature can do to enhance that collaboration, as well as facilitate growth and development.”