Democracy Day: Anyaoku, Nwachukwu, Obi, others call for new constitution

Eminent Nigerians, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, General Ike Nwachukwu (retd), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili and Mr. Peter Obi, have stressed the urgent need for a new constitution for Nigeria to accommodate the nation’s diversity and save it from imminent collapse.

These prominent personalities who spoke at a colloquium on June 12, held in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos entitled “Securing the future of Nigeria through a new democratic people’s constitution,’’ noted that the Nigerian project is not working because the country operates a constitution that does not suit its numerous challenges.

Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth and chairman of the event, Chief Anyaoku, stated that Nigeria, from the onset, had been facing the challenges of managing its diversity, noting that the 1960 and 1963 constitutions were drafted to address these challenges until the military came to power in January 1966 and disrupted the efforts.

He asserted that unless courageous action is taken to give the country a new constitution, it will continue to move towards collapse.

Anyaoku explained that some countries that failed to address their diversity had disintegrated, citing Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Sudan.

He explained that their failure to address diversity made them break into two independent states.

He maintained that other pluralist nations that addressed their diversity remain intact, like Canada and India.

According to Anyaoku, even the 1999 constitution, as amended, lacks the legitimacy to address diversity.”

“Therefore, we need to get a new legitimate constitution that will tackle the challenges facing the country,” he said.

He suggested that to arrive at the new constitution, a constituent assembly can be set up, which will comprise people democratically elected but not on a political party basis, adding that membership of the constituent assembly should also put into consideration the 1960 and 1963 constitutions and the recommendations of the 2014 constitutional conference.

“If all those are put into consideration, the nation will have a legitimate constitution,” he said.

On his part, General Nwachukwu acknowledged that attempts had been made in the past to return Nigeria to a true democracy. He, however, called on Nigerians to pray that the country has a constitution that can accommodate the people’s wishes.

He said Nigeria needs a truly federal constitution that accommodates the nation’s diversity, adding that the time to make the change is now.

Peter Obi, who was represented by his campaign spokesman, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said he aligned with the position expressed by Anyaoku and Nwachukwu on the need for a truly federal constitution.

In her remarks, Dr Ezekwesili said Nigeria is still struggling to have a democracy, stressing that the journey to have a democracy is premised on the rule of law, but Nigeria does not have that.

Noting that political freedom correlates to economic freedom and leads to productivity, she said the lack of democracy made Nigeria go backwards, adding that what Nigeria has now is a monopoly democracy.

According to her, Nigeria needs to be rescued immediately from experimentation.

The former Minister said it is high time the people had a new Nigeria and not one where foreigners would dictate what the country should do.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker