Jega proposes constitutional amendment for socio-democratic stability of Nigeria

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has proposed a constitutional amendment for the socio-democratic stability of the country.

Jega noted that united and stable socio-democratic country predicated on full citizenship rights and social justice will be for all.

He made this proposal known in his presentation lecture titled: Citizenship and  Social Justice in Nigeria, marking the 10th Anniversary of the Gani Fawehinmi Annual Scholarship Awards 2019 held yesterday in Lagos.

“A constitutional amendment, which borrows a leaf from the 14th Amendment of the United States Of America’s Constitution should be contemplated to address the question of citizenship and social justice in Nigeria.

“I believe that we can solve the existing contradiction in our constitution between citizenship rights and indigene rights with an amendment.

“All persons born or naturalized in Nigeria, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of Nigeria and the State wherein they reside.

“such a provision would be justiciable and would solve the problem of the prevailing spurious distinction being made between citizens with constitutionally guaranteed rights and indigene with elevated privileges to the status of illegality acquired rights.

“It should place a hold on the impunity with which the citizenship rights are crassly violated by federal and, especially state governments.

“We cannot continue like this. United, stable, democratic predicated on full citizenship rights and social justice holds better promise for us all, including our children and grandchildren” Jega said.

He added that the rights of citizens regardless of ethnic or racial differences should be encapsulated in the amended constitution.

“Our Constitution should be amended to explicitly recognize the rights of all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic or racial connections as well as declare the oppression of any minority group or race to be contrary to the fundamental laws of the federal republic of Nigeria

“We can also borrow a leaf from the 1918 revolutionary Constitution of the former Soviet Union in the manner in which it decisively addressed the National question” He said

Meanwhile, Attahiru pinpointed that a disintegrated Nigeria will also breed negative effect on the international landscape, advocating for all hands to be on deck for a united country.

“A perpetually disunited or worse a disintegrating or disintegrated Nigeria will be a problem for not only us Nigerians, but would have dire consequences on our sub-region as well as our continent.

“The differences can be managed and resolved if sane, focused, decent and patriotic Nigerians put their minds to it, and take the search for solutions away from our reckless self-serving professional politicians and mobilizers of negative primordial identities.

“We can and should find and deploy effective means of tolerating and living with one another, and working towards the goal of a united Nigeria based on social justice, equity, equality of opportunity and responsible and responsive governance,” Attahiru said.

Giving his goodwill remarks, President Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Quadri Olaleye described the late Gani Fawehinmi as an impeccable character, spotless, and exemplary leader.
He noted that Gani was a good and exemplary mentor to the majority of people, stating that some have derailed on that path.
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