As Nigerians make inputs for the review of the nation’s constitution, a legal luminary and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Bar. Assam Assam has stated that the 1999 constitution has collapsed and nothing is left to be reviewed in the said constitution.
According to him, the only remedy to what he called the ’American Styled’ constitution is for Nigerians to come together and rewrite a constitution they can be proud of, recalling that the current constitution was hurriedly drafted by the military in 1999 while handing over power to civil administration.
He noted further that the 1999 constitution, akin to doctrine of necessity, was promulgated by the Armed Forces Ruling Council by decree number 24 of 1999, while insisting that the current constitution remains a fraud and will definitely take the country to nowhere.
”You cannot build anything on nothing, it will fall and that is why the constitution is collapsing…however we want to hold onto it, it will not work because ”We the people‘’ did not write the constitution as stated in the preamble of the 1999 constitution,’’ he pointed out.
Speaking further, he said ”As far as I am concerned, this constitution is a fraud. It was a forgery. The name of the people was used to give the constitution credibility and it has collapsed,’’ he concluded.
Bar. Assam had while making his presentation in Uyo to the House of Representatives Committee on Review of 1999 Constitution, maintained that Nigerian citizens inputs has never been reflected in the nations constitution since amalgamation of the country in 1914 till date.
He added that the past Nigerian constitutions were either written by the Colonial Masters of the military, thus leaving the people with a nonworkable constitution and the presidential system of government.
According to him, the presidential system of government is very expensive when compared to the parliamentary system of government, which, in his opinion will be better for the country, considering the cost among other advantages.
Meanwhile, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations and women groups have tasked the National Assembly to produce an ideal constitution that will promote equity and fairness to all manner of people.
The groups led by Women Political Participation Technical Working Group in a press statement endorsed by its National Leader, Deaconess Victoria Ihesiulor tasked the Reps committee on constitution amendment to in reviewing the constitution, expunge gender biases in the constitution.
Ihesiulor who was represented by Mrs. Glory Ekaso said the constitution Nigerian women want must enhance women’s right and gender equality as well as promote women participation in government.
Among other issues the people clamoured for included state creation, local government autonomy, legislative and judicial autonomy.
Reported by Aniefiok Christopher