Constitution Amendment: Senate Expected to Say 'No' to the Mayoral Status for FCT

Constitution Amendment: Senate Expected to Say 'No' to the Mayoral Status for FCT

The move by the upper chamber to so do came following sentiments expressed by lawmakers who posited that approving a mayoral status for the FCT may challenge the position of the sitting President and pose a security threat to the nation.

Speaking to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Senator Ita Enang (PDP, Akwa Ibom South) said the granting of mayoral status to the Federal Capital Territory was not in the best interest of the country.

He explained that in the United States, its capital Washington DC, is under the president and legislature, thus making the position of the mayor similar to the position of the local government chairman.

According to Enang, the approval of mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory was capable of challenging the authority of the President since the intent behind the establishment of the FCT was supposed to be based on neutrality.

“In Nigeria, there are 668 LG councils. If you have a Mayor elected on another party different from that of the President there is bound to be crisis. The idea behind the establishment of a capital territory was intended to make for neutrality.

“It is not in the interest of national security for us to create a mayoral status for the FCT while there is a president sitting.”

According to him, “The trustee of the federation is the President of the country. That is the practice all over.

“It will not be in the interest of national security and best practices to have a mayor of the FCT.

“The federal capital territory was not created to have a governor, instead it was supposed to have a minister appointed to administer it.”

Enang while speaking on the way voting will be carried out on the floor today, stressed that the Senate would only “vote on are matters on which recommendations are made” in the report of the Constitution Review Committee.

He added that for the report submitted to the upper chamber, the issue of immunity removal for the President and Governors is not on the list of items to be voted on since same was not presently before the Senate.

On granting autonomy for Local Governments, Enang pointed that how lawmakers would vote will be determined by certain aspects that would question whether local governments had the capacity of being federating units.

“Are the states or local governments federating units, these are matters we will be thinking about when attempting to vote,” he said. 

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