Anyaoku, others reiterate call for new constitution

Former Commonwealth General Secretary, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and other prominent Nigerians have reiterated calls for a new constitution that would be determined by the Nigerian people.

He spoke at a programme organised by the June 12 Movement of Nigeria in conjunction with The Patriots, a group of eminent Nigerians in Lagos on Wednesday.

The theme of the event is: Ensuring the future of Nigeria through new democratic people’s constitution.

Anyaoku, who said the 1999 constitution was imposed on the country  by the  military, said the country needed a new Constitution that would reflect true federalism and address the problems of the country. He charged the National Assembly to put a legal framework in place for the birth of a new constitution that would be determined by the Nigerian people.

“If eminent Nigerians; people who have used better part of their time serving this country have a conversation and we cannot take it forward and make sure that we have a complete solution, then we are wasting our time. Given the number of people that are here, we should make this conversation very effective. Many speakers have said that it is not the National Assembly that will make those amendments and it makes a lot of logical sense. It is for the National Assembly to constitute a law where people will come together and make those amendments themselves.”

Former minister, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, said the country needed a completely new federal constitution that would give autonomy to the federating units (states or zones) as created and agreed.

He noted that the new constitution must be subject to a referendum, adding that anything else would, pretty much, further estrange citizens  and deepen the pains Nigerians currently endure.

Also speaking, Prof. Anthony Kila, said the present democratic dispensation had attempted to produce a constitution to accommodate the wishes and aspirations of the people but had not succeeded.

Kila said the reason for the failures could be found primarily with those in authority at those times wishing to force the citizenry to conform to their own personal ethos rather than those of the people who genuinely desire a better and more effective polity.

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