President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has summoned a Council of State meeting billed to take place today (Tuesday).  Among issues to be critically discussed are; Issues bordering on preparations for the 2015 general elections, security challenges in parts of the country and the 2016 census.
The council, which has Vice President Namadi Sambo as the deputy chairman, also has all former Presidents and Heads of Government, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria; President of the Senate; Speaker of the House of Representatives; all the 36 state governors; and the Attorney-General of the Federation as members.
Newsmen learnt on Monday that the meeting would review the security situation across the country.
The council, it was further learnt, might give the President the go-ahead to direct the National Population Commission to start the process leading to the 2016 census.
It will be recalled that the NPC had on June 16 sought Jonathan?s approval for it to conduct the 2016 census.
The commission?s Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), had sought the approval when he led other members of the board to a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Duruiheoma had said although there ought to be a general census in 2016 since the last one was conducted in 2006, preparations for the exercise could not start until a presidential proclamation was obtained.
He had also told journalists that his team could not secure the proclamation at the meeting but expressed the hope that it would be done in a matter of days.
The council of state has the constitutional duties of advising the President in the exercise of his powers with respect to national census; prerogative of mercy; award of national honours; composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (including the appointment of members of the commission); the National Judicial Council (including the appointment of the members, other than ex-officio members of the council); and the National Population Commission (including the appointment of members of that commission).
It also has the responsibility of advising the President whenever requested to do so on the maintenance of public order within the federation or any part thereof and on such other matters as the President may direct.
The last time Jonathan summoned the council of state meeting was February 4.
It was at that meeting that the council approved the list of the chairman and members of the NPC presented by the President.
Apart from receiving a briefing on the security situation across the country from the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), the council at that time also approved the programmes earmarked for the celebration of the nation?s centenary.


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