The Senate yesterday dismissed renewed calls from several quarters for the convocation of a sovereign national conference (SNC). Senate spokesman Enyinnaya Abaribe told a press conference in Abuja that the National Assembly remains the only vehicle by which constitutional changes in the country can be made. The Senate, he also said, has given its committees a deadline of Thursday to turn in their reports on the budget defence by ministries or else the chamber would be forced to adopt the executive’s proposals.
Reacting to the strident calls for SNC, Abaribe said: “Our position is that we are already elected to represent all persons and citizens of Nigeria. If you look at the composition, you are either represented by a House of Representatives member or a senator. “We do not think there is any matter under the sun that we will shy away from. We do not understand the stand of those who insist that there must be a sovereign national conference. “For the avoidance of doubt we are not against any group, association or persons meeting to discuss issues because that is to ensure democracy. What we are saying is that there cannot be democracy without democrats. Therefore, if you want any alteration to the way of life in the country, the vehicle is the National Assembly. “If you want to change the constitution, bring it through the House and the Senate.”