State of the Nation: Akeredolu advocates for new Constitution for Nigeria

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state has advocated for the redesign of the nation’s Constitution which must reflect the true yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people and take care of the interests of the various ethnic groups in the country.

The governor noted that the current agitations in the country are a pointer to the necessity and exigency of fundamental adjustments in the Constitution of the country.

The governor made this call during the 67th Anniversary and Annual Reunion of the Loyola College Ibadan Old Boys Association (LOCOBA) held at Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State Capital, while delivering a lecture titled “ Redesigning The Nigerian Constitution For National Development And Inclusiveness.”

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, (CPS) to the governor, Akerdolu charged the Constitution Review Committee of the National Assembly to ensure that all submissions on the proposed constitutional amendments are scrutinised and analysed with a view to come up with useful suggestions.

Akeredolu said: “Democracy operates, presumably, on the principles of freedom to choose representative leadership, reflective of political alignments as dictated by current exigencies, a group’s exercise of considerable control on socio-economic activities and preservation of its identity as a component unit within a broader political entity.

“It is permissive, on a liberal scale, of the rights of individual citizens. It also imposes duties and places checks on propensities towards licentiousness.

“A democratic system can only be effective to the extent to which the legal processes driving it are structured.

“The Constitution of a country is the basic law. The aspirations, anxieties and expectations of a political entity must be well captured in the document.

“All other laws must flow from this legal fount. It is not important for a constitution to be voluminous. It should be concise and written in simple but elegant prose. It should leave no section of the country, for which it is designed, in doubt as regards inclusivity. All component units must participate as equal partners.”

According to Akeredolu, it is an indictment on the members of the elite class to have allowed the current situation to endure, saying it mirrors the depth of understanding of politics and political processes of the ruling class.

“We operate a Constitution daubed federal with all trappings of pretension. Ours is about the only federalism which allows the central authority to control virtually all aspects of existence which give identities to the federating units.

“And now that we are faced with serious security challenges, we must be bold to consolidate on the initiatives undertaken by the states to complement the efforts of the security agencies at the centre,” he said.

Akeredolu called on the National Assembly to repeal the many laws establishing many agencies whose functions overlap or appear to compete with those of the states of the Federation.

He urged the National Assembly to also appropriate funds for the sustenance of moribund agencies of the Federal Government as part of its patriotic assignment.

He said “There are too many of them. They should reduce, considerably, the number of items on the Exclusive List and increase those on the Residual List for proper devolution of powers.

“I suggest a copious adoption of provisions in the 1963 Republican Constitution as a guide in our quest for a new socio-legal order. If all these suggestions are considered, I have no doubt that we will reduce, drastically, the socio-economic problems which we face at the moment.

“Our journey towards nationhood will have commenced from point of the adoption of these submissions and many more.”

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