Nigeria needs new constitution, not amendment – Olanipekun

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A former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun, Wednesday said that the ongoing constitutional amendment can not work, maintaining that Nigeria needs constitutional replacement.

Olanipekun who delivered the 13th convocation lecture of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun state, insisted that the present constitution can not solve the security, pandemic and other problems facing the country.

Speaking on the topic titled “Beyond The Pandemic: Creating An Evolving New Normal,” expressed sadness over the spate of pandemic coupled with the insecurityy, high level of poverty, lack of access to quality education and some basic requirements guaranteed by the constitution.

He, however, blamed Nigerian problems on the constitution which he said was built on faulty premise.

He said, “since the emergence of this democratic duspensation in 1999, I have consistently advocated for a true Federal Constitution for Nigeria, and a return to a true Federal System of Government, akin or similar to what we had pre-January 1966 coup de tat.

“For now, Nigeria is functioning, not too disproportionate from the way it has been designed to function by those who imposed the present constitution on us, falsely labelled as ” The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Every properly functioning nation has a masterplan which is ingrained in its constitution. The present normal which is virtually landing us in a conundrum, is that we are bedevilled with a constitution, which in its very essence and content, does not represent any honest, genuine and sincere constitution. 

“To compound this complicated problem is the arrogant attempt being made by the National Assembly to amend a constitution that has no author and, by extension, no bonafide origin.

“With much respect to the National Assembly members, what Nigeria needs is not a constitutional amendment but a constitutional replacement; for the present constitution cannot be amended, it is unamendable. This is apart from the fact that most members of the National Assembly are not politically contiguous to their constituents, for security and diverse reasons. Abuja has now become their homes and haven.”

The lawyer who noted that social interventions and relief packages provided by the advanced countries during the lockdown became practically impossible for country like Nigeria because of several factors, insisted that total replacement of the constitution will solve the problem.