The flag-off of a constitutional review exercise across the country has sparked reactions and debates from Nigerians. The plethora of insecurity, nepotism, poverty, social inequalities and ethnic bigotry in the Nigerian polity prompted the urgent need for a constitutional review.
The constitutional review was to be geared towards repairing the existing lacuna in the constitution. This was seen as a welcome development as it would act as a panacea to the country’s challenges.
It seemed the appeal for a constitutional overhauling from Nigerians including some elders statesmen across the nation has finally yielded results but it has been observed it is nothing but a humiliating defeat from the country’s political elites.
As a keen political observer and analyst and in reaction to the statement of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege, who stated that “we don’t have the power to repeal or amend the constitution”, I put this pen to paper.
The assertion from the DSP did not only sadden my heart but made me conclude that the constitutional review exercise was already going to be dead on arrival.
As a historian, I know that lawmakers are key players in the constitutional review of a country and the National Assembly of Nigeria is not excluded from this task.
However, other organs of government like the executives, the judiciary and as well the masses can also champion this course.
In advanced countries, absolute power lies with the masses but the reverse is the case in Nigeria, where the ruling elites consider the masses as inept, unfit and are in urgent need of psychological guidance.
The current constitution should be amended to suit the country’s challenges. But among the many political stakeholders across the country, there are already doubts about the envisaged outcome of this exercise.
Indeed the constitutional review exercise is still ongoing but one can conclude that it is going to be a mere National exercise and a political discussion that would dominate Nigeria’s political headlines for a while.
But if we desire to achieve the envisaged outcomes, the current constitution should be overhauled.