The House of Representatives was polarised Wednesday over a bill seeking to change the nationâ€™s motto from â€œUnity and Faith, Peace and Progressâ€ to â€œJustice and Equity, Peace and Progress.
Titled: â€œA Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) by changing the motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from â€œUnity and Faith, Peace and Progressâ€ to â€œJustice and Equity, Peace and Progress,â€ the bill is intended to create a strong political will to achieve political objectives in Nigeria and for other related matters.
Sponsored by Hon. Chris Emeka Azubogu (APGA, Anambra), it was to be read for the second time when the arguments ensued.
Despite his appeal to amend the bill to read â€˜Unity and Faith, Justice and Equity, Peace and Progressâ€, his proposal was flawed by his collegues, thus compelling him to withdraw it to give chance for wider consultation.
Initially, Azubogu called for a change of the motto to reflect existing realities in the country, pointing out that the absence of justice and equity was part of the problems bedevilling the nation.
Although he was backed by Hon. Matthew Omegara (APGA, Imo) who stated that it was in order to amend the motto. Linus Okorie (PDP, Ebonyi), also supported the bill, saying Nigeria was â€œfounded on unity, peace justice, and equity so the proposed amendment should be adopted.â€
Similarly, Hon. Sadik Asema (PDP, Kogi) towed the same line of argument. He said the amendment was in order but suggested that it should either be â€œunity, peace, justice and equityâ€ because there cannot be equity without justice.
Hon. Chris Etah (PDP, Cross River),Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje and Hon. Friday Itulah (PDP, Edo) kicked against the bill. Etah noted that the current motto of â€œUnity and Faith, Peace and Progressâ€ is flawless while Hon. Elendu-Ukeje flayed the proposed amendment as being too long.
On his part, Hon.,advised that the status quo should remain as regards the motto. He, however, observed that there was need to review the entity called Nigeria.