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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Adopt 2014 CONFAB report or 1963 constitution, Nigerians tell NASS

By Jubril Bada & Roland Bayode


Concerned Nigerians, groups and political analysts have continued to express doubt on the success of the ongoing efforts towards the amendment of the 1999 constitution.
Those who spoke with The Hope expressed worry over the amendment process, noting the cumbersome process involved in the 1999 constitution amendment, saying the ongoing constitution review might not yield fruitful result.
A chieftain of the Pan Yoruba Socio-Cultural Group, Afenifere, Chief Femi Aluko, strongly advised the National Assembly to adopt the 2014 National Conference recommendations or the 1963 constitution rather than waste time on the ongoing amendment of the 1999 constitution.
He compared the amendment of the constitution with the amendment of tore clothes.
Aluko, who emphasized that the country needs a new constitution and not the 1999 constitution compiled by the military administration.
He stressed that the 2014 National CONFAB report would have been the best if it was adopted or the 1963 constitution as an alternative since majority of Nigerians were in support of adoption of the latter.
According to him, the 2014 National CONFAB and the 1963 constitution have captured all Nigerians’ expectations.
“Nigerians should stop amending tore clothes and go back to 2014 National CONFAB report or 1963 constitution in order not to waste time,” he said.
While reacting to the position of the National Assembly that “it was not impossible ” for it to write a new constitution, Aluko attested that the National legislative arm lacks power to make a new constitution.
Recalled that the Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review ,Senator Ovie Omo-Agege had said the National Assembly does not have the power to write a new constitution.
In his submission, a political analyst, Mr. Akinbode Okunola explained that it will take a gradual and long process for the country to have a new constitution since Section 9 provided for amendment but not new constitution.
He further suggested constitution conference like the 2014 National CONFAB that would be free from president or lawmaker influence as another way to have a new constitution.
“What is needed to be changed is having a constitutional conference.
“A situation where the president himself is not there, where the Senate president is not influencing the decision-making.

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