By Umar Muhammad
Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on customs and excise, Rep Kingsley Chinda (PDP Rivers), has said that it is only Nigeria’s unity that should be considered as a no-go-area in the ongoing national conference.
Chinda, who spoke in Abuja at the House of Representatives Press Corps interview series “hot seat”, also disclosed that he has sponsored a bill, which is proposing death penalty for corrupt officials in the country.
He said since Nigerians have all agreed that the national conference should take place, it was imperative for some vexed issues to be discussed and agreed upon.
“The only no-go-area in the conference, to me, should be Nigeria’s unity. It’s only when people talk about our unity that I think it shouldn’t be toyed with, but we can discuss any other important issue of our existence.
“In my opinion, we need to continue with the national conference. It’s really a welcome idea to me. It shows that the government is responsive since Nigerians have been agitating for it. Let Nigerians air their views and agree on the way forward,” he said.
On arguments that the amount to be spent on the delegates was on the high side, Chinda said “The N7 billion isn’t too much. I’ve sat down and calculated the money for the 492 delegates and saw that it wasn’t much. The only thing is that let the purpose for which the money will be spent be achieved.”
Reacting to the issue of referendum, Chinda said although there is no such provision in the constitution, he believed Nigerians should be given the mandate to decide on what affects them after which it would be taken to the National Assembly for further action.
Commenting on the performance of the 7th Assembly, the lawmaker said members have performed satisfactorily, adding however that the spirit with which they started is not the same as at present.