Nigeria’s 1999 military constitution defective, requires urgent review – Fayemi

Access Bank

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has declared that the proposed constitutional review by the National Assembly would enable Nigeria to get an acceptable constitution that could resolve the country’s crises.

Fayemi also said that a review committee set up by the state government would recommend the parts of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) that should be reviewed.

He made these comments when he spoke in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday May 25 during a public consultation on the Review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Fayemi said that the review of the constitution became expedient because its “defects are many, particularly those affecting the smooth running and development of the country as a federation.”

“This will help us to concentrate more effort on issues that are fundamental. Our country deserves to have a constitution that will be largely acceptable by Nigerians.

“The ongoing process is a paradigm shift of sort. This is being spearheaded by the National Assembly, the true and genuine representatives of Nigerians. It is, therefore, in our best interest to make the best of the golden opportunity by coming up with recommendations for amendment that will address some of the noticeable lapses.

“There is no better time to exhibit and bring to bear your statesmanlike maturity, patriotic considerations and vision to help bring hope and dreams of the public to reality than now.”

The governor urged the members of the committee to bear in mind the challenges of the past, the present and the projection for our future as they consult widely with the members of the public and ensuring that every opinion and ideas brought forward must be meticulously considered.

The governor added: “We are all aware that the current 1999 Constitution that we are operating is a product of a Military Decree, and as a result has been subject to endless criticism. One of the main criticisms is that the 1999 Constitution did not emanate from a process of consultation and involvement with the public, nor passed through any referendum.

“Despite the identified lapses of the 1999 constitution, it remains the only operating system that justifies our existence as a united country. Rather than staying on the fence with endless criticisms, we should answer the patriotic call for constitutional amendment by lending our voices to effect the change we all desire.

“A constitution is expected to put together the values, commitment, aspirations, interest and agreement of different groups, communities, individuals etc. The debates can sometimes be polarised, contentious and in some cases characterised with conflicts.”

He said that previous constitutional conferences’ reports could not yielded positive result because of the way and manner they were structured and managed.




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