On Thursday, it was the turn of the House of Representatives to undertake the clause-by-clause debate of proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution. The House parted with the Senate on a number of significant areas that are associated with aspects of the restructuring of the country.
The Senate had on Wednesday rejected amendment proposals on devolution of powers, state creation and boundary adjustment, deletion of the Land Use Act, as well as citizenship and indegeneship, drawing ire from sections of the country that had long advocated for structural changes to the country and expected these amendments to scale through if only as a consolation for the absence of core issues of restructuring such as fiscal autonomy from the final review, and possibly serve as a foundation for more fundamental changes in the form of wholesale restructuring in the future.
But the House in a sharp departure from the Senate, backed devolution of powers, state creation and boundary adjustment, as well as citizenship and indigeneship amendments. It however towed same path as the Senate on deletion of Land Use Act from the constitution.
Political watchers will be waiting to see what the final compromise position will be when both houses meet again to harmonize amendments. Many will also be keen to know what the final amendment document will look like after passing through 32 state assemblies across the country.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, what is sure is that, on the evidence of the total amendments passed, the clamour for restructuring will continue and likely even more intensely, as many believe a unique opportunity to address its core issues has been missed by the National Assembly.
Below is a breakdown of the amendments considered at the House on Thursday: