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Sen Ken Nnamani
Sen Ken Nnamani

Fayose, Nnamani clash over constitutional reform committee

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the appointment of Senator Ken Nnamani as the Chairman, Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee, saying a politician should not head such a committee.

Specifically, Fayose called Nnamani to resign his post.

He made this call on Wednesday at the public hearing on constitution and electoral reform held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.

Represented by a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Samuel Omotosho, Fayose said the former Senate president was at risk of being influenced by the members of the his party, the All Progressives Congress.

However, in a swift reaction, Nnamani ruled out Fayose’s fears, arguing that the fact that he had defected to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party did not mean that he would be compromised.

He said the report of the committee would still be taken to the National Assembly and the President for deliberation.

The governor said, “If this government is actually serious about electoral reform, then the chairman of this committee should resign and allow an independent person to take over.

“Senator Ken Nnamani is a South-East regional leader of the APC and thus, he is incapable of rising above primordial and party sentiments to give us anything different from electoral inconclusiveness that we have at the moment.

“The only time this country made an attempt at a reliable electoral reform was during the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua who appointed the retired Chief Justice Muhammadu Uwais as the chairman.

“This singular move gave the panel credibility, widespread acceptability and massive support from all over the country and across political divides.”

But he said that could not be said of this panel “that is overshadowed by massive moral burdens and conflict of interests as a result of the chairman being a card-carrying member of the APC. Any reform from such an encapsulation can as well be said to be dead on arrival”.

Nnamani, hitting back at Fayose, said the fact that the Ekiti State House of Assembly has an overwhelming membership from the PDP did not mean it makes only ‘PDP laws’ for the people of the state.

He further argued that a seasoned politician was best fitted to head the committee having participated in elections and knowing the grey areas in the electoral process.

He said, “It is the members of the National Assembly that will deliberate on the matter. Each of them belongs to a political party. Ken Nnamani chairing this committee belongs to a political party. Therefore, there is nothing inconsistent about a politician chairing a committee of this nature.

“I want to clarify this because the report of the committee itself would not be tilted towards a political party. Among the members of the committee are those who belong to civil society groups. We have those who belong to different political parties and we have those who don’t belong to any political party.

“The easier thing to do is to criticise; the guy who represented the Governor of Ekiti State, I wanted him to be here since he said he’s the chairman of a committee.

“I don’t know if they make rules that the bills they pass is purely for PDP? I think it is for the people of the state and not for the party.”

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