Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has described the 1999 constitution (as amended) as deficient and vulnerable.
Governor Ikpeazu argued that a new constitution championed by the people would entrench good governance, as power would be devolved to states and local governments.
Speaking in Abuja at the 5th edition of the Osasu Show Symposium, hosted by Osasu Igbinedion, with the theme ‘State of the Nation; the People’s Constitution’, Ikpeazu said: “The 1999 Constitution is both deficient and vulnerable. The vulnerability of the constitution is measured by its inability to promote evolution and strengthening of institution and capable of buffering it from the tendencies of a powerful ruler or against a powerful leader.
“The most potent thing to nation building are ethno-sensitivism and religious sensitivism. For a true sensitive country like Nigeria, a people’s constitution for us should be a constitution that is capable of protecting the feeling and aspirations of people from Borno through Adamawa to Rivers through Enugu to Ibadan.
“Nigerians must be given the opportunity to keep themselves with a constitution that is original and home grown.”
Also speaking, the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, said it was impossible for the country to change the constitution at this time.
Bello, who was represented by the director-general of Research and Development, Moses Okezie Okafor, said: “I understand the argument and I wish I could buy into their optimism.
“Sadly given our socio-political reality as a nation, I think the calls to dump the 1999 constitution and make a new one from the scratch are not very realistic at this time.
“Constitutional democracy is not a naturally occurring system of governance; it is always preceded by some authoritarian movement by the society.”
Meanwhile, the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, linked secessionist agitations to marginalisation of some sections of the country.
Adoke said that until the present administration evenly embrace different geopolitical zones, the country would continue to witness protests.