Nigerian Elders, Leaders Seek New Constitution
About 120 Nigerian elders and leaders of thought advocate for new constitution to put nation on path of unity, progress and prosperity.
The elders and leaders spoke at a virtual summit, organised by the Nigeria Political Summit and moderated by Prof. Pat Utomi.
In his opening remarks, a northern elder, Dr Ahmed Joda, noted that the fabric of Nigeria could be repaired and reconstructed through a sincere rejig of the nation’s constitution to reflect the will of the people. .
A Yoruba elder, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, noted that all was not well with the country, saying that the foundation of the nation’s problem was in her constitution.
Adebanjo said that Nigeria had jettisoned the constitution that brought about her existence and adopted a military constitution that favoured a section of Nigeria.
Another leader, Victor Attah, added that the problem facing the nation was beyond the National Assembly and the President.
Contributing, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, a Northern leader, noted that Nigerians once had a great country at the beginning, and called for a consensus by the elites to move forward.
Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Ghali Na’aba said: “Bringing ourselves together is the way forward. Na’aba, who noted that all sections of the country were living in fear due to insecurity and poverty, called for restructuring and tolerance.
Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, another Northern elder, said that there was the need for wider consultations among Nigerians to provide opportunity and better understanding.
Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu said that there had been loads of reports and recommendations to put the nation on the path of unity and development which had been abandoned by the political leaders.
Mrs Iyom Anenih added that secession would not be of maximum benefit to any group in Nigeria and called for restructuring and true federalism to realign and rebuild the country.
Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa said that Nigerians were being hurt deeply and needed a healing, through implementation of various recommendations for devolution of powers.
Dr Bello Falalu, another leader of thought, said that genuine federalism remained the only way to bring justice, equity and peace in the country.
Dr Kunle Olajide, another leader, said that a bill for the establishment of a Constitutional Conference Commission for a new constitution should be sent to the National Assembly.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan said that the situation in the country required an emergency, adding that “obviously a new constitution is necessary.”
Dr Uche Azikwe, Hajiya Zainab Maina, Dr Kema Chikwe, Prof. Mojubaolu Kome, Chief Michael Ajegbo, Kalu Idika Kalu, Obadiah Mallafia and a host of other speakers took turns to emphasise the need for inclusiveness and new constitution.