The Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria
A constitutional template serves as a body of fundamental principles or an established precedents to which a state derives its power from and acknowledged to be governed.
A constitution empowers legitimate authorities to act for the public good and manage their common concerns while protecting people against the arbitrary power of rulers whose power would otherwise be used for personal benefit and not for the public good.
A good constitution must take into consideration the social, political, economical as well as the diversity of the inhabitants the constitution intends providing cover for.
Why 1999 Constitution would continue to be a drawback to Nigerian Peace, Unity and Progress.
that have succeeded in establishing and maintaining good constitution
are at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement. In
contrast, state that operate with constitutional template with so much
loopholes and impunity underneath it, would continue to fall short of
unity and progress.
certain individuals makes an attempt to maintain power so that they
alone can enjoy the luxury of office and control the resources of the
state for personal gain, then the state is pulling itself far from the
tenants of democracy.
For example, the power house in
which in Biochemistry is known as 'mitochondria,' is the engine room for
every metabolic activities in the body system. The mitochondria is an
organelle that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the
cell's biochemical reactions.
changes or problem with the mitochondria DNA can alter the growth,
development and function of the body system. Our nation's power house
(mitochondria) is the constitution. Every arms and tears of government
derives it power from the constitution
the constitution (power house) is faulty, the system will be vulnerable
to impunity and it would be very difficult to attain any meaningful
progress. The constitution is our reference point and is where every
public office holder derives power from.
affirmed the saying that says "absolute power corrupts absolutely". The
power in the 1999 constitution is so much domiciled in the presidency.
By virtue of our constitution, the president of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria is the most powerful president in the world.
The power is so much concentrated at the centre which is not good for any country that call itself 'a democratic state'. The
constitution has 68 items on the exclusive list with only 12 items on
the current list and the 12 items are written in a way that the
intention is to undermine the concurrent list.
issue of resources control is reserved under the exclusive list, that
is why today you could see the tussle between the governor of Zamfara
State and the federal government. The governor is saying "we are going
to control our gold" and federal government are saying "NO all mineral
resources harnessed is under the control of the federal government".
Even as that, the federal government have relinquished and accord
certain liberty for Zamfara to control her gold and at the same time
insisting to control the oil in the Niger Delta.
In this context, is there justice and equity?
the same premise, there was a constitutional power tussle when the
south-west region initiated a security architecture in their region to
tackle crime and at the same time, consolidating the effort of the
Nigerian police and other security operatives.
Attorney General of the federation challenged the south-west governors
that they lack the constitutional power to create such security outfit
flaunting and drawing inspiration from the 1999 constitution that all
issue of security is reserved in the exclusive list.
it is only the federal government that has the constitutional power to
create security outfit and manage security, forgetting that there have
being an existence of similar security outfit like the Hisbah in Kano
and the Civilian JTF in Borno state. All domiciled in the northern
region of Nigeria.
On the endless war on terror,
there have been gross incompetency and lethargy from the side of the
service chiefs, but the president has declined call by well-meaning
Nigerians seeking the removal of the service chiefs and an entire
overhaul of the nations security architecture.
the level of insecurity in the country is increasing day in day out.
People are dying but the president has kept a deaf ear to voices seeking
the sack of the service chiefs even when is obvious that the service
chiefs are technically bankrupt, intellectually on recess and
energetically exhausted as it is obvious and could easily be depicted
that the law of diminishing return is operating in their life which
defines their state of worn out.
Is the life of the citizens important to the President?
Nigeria needs to return to the regional system of government with a holistic approach to the 1999 constitution.
Comr. NELSON Wilson
Political activist and a pan-Africanist.