Senate votes against devolution of powers to states

Despite the widespread clamour for devolution of power from across the country, the Senate on Tuesday voted against the proposal when the issue came up for a vote on the floor of the Senate.

The devolution of powers to states was one of the Four key constitution amendment proposals that the Senate rejected yesterday.

The others are the deletion of the Land Use Act from the Constitution, State creation and boundary, 35 per cent affirmative action for women and the recommendation to alter Section 25 of the Constitution to guarantee a married woman’s right to choose either her indigeneship by birth of by marriage for the purpose of appointment or election.

Two-third of the 109 senators were required to pass any of the 33 bills, except the bill on procedure for overriding presidential veto in Constitution Alteration, which requires 4/5 of the 109 senator present and voting.

On devolution of power to states, Ninety-five senators voted; 56 voted yes, 48 voted nay and one abstained. The proposal failed to meet the two-third required for it to pass.

On removal of the Land Use Act from the constitution, 90 senators voted; 46 voted yes, 44 voted against the bill, rendering the proposal unacceptable.

Many political commentators believe that Tuesday’s decision by the Senate to reject the devolution of power proposal shows how out of touch the members are with the political realities in the country.