At the inaugural speech, Mr President urged the NASS to include referendum clause in the on-going constitution amendment. Is this not an indirect admission that resolutions of the confab will be subjected to the whims and caprices of the NASS and the President? If you cannot trust the NASS to amend constitutions that will favour Nigerians, how do you come about trusting them to include a provision for referendum in their own ongoing, parallel constitution amendment?
The referendum will be debated, pass through first and second readings; pass through endorsement of 24 state houses of assembly; get passed into law by the NASS; then pass to the President for an assent; before it becomes law.
Finally, what’s the difference, and what will be the difference in the outcome of this present GEJ-confab and OBJ-confab? Is this not doing same things over and over again, and expecting different results? The National Conference is totally unnecessary.
To run the Federal Government, and ensure there is a ‘fall-back’ loan for regions that might struggle initially, is it not possible to have regions pay 20% of resources generated into a special fund for about 10 years. That fund can then be a funder/lender of last resort, if any of the regions suffer a natural disaster, became temporarily financially strained.
Will this demand be denied them if these groups are unable to garner the required 75% of majority votes? And would the conference have succeeded if demands of ethnic minorities remain unaddressed?
In a pre -Conference event which I participated in Enugu orgnised by an amalgam of Igbo intelligentia, we agreed on the need for the repealing of the 1999 Constitution as the way forward to ushering in a peoples’ constitution. Our arrow head in that gathering, legal icon, Professor Ben Nwabueze argued that contrary to the opinions of some, that the 1999 Constitution is not an impediment to the newly expected Constitution.
Nwabueze maintained that the 1960 Independence Constitution was established by section 2 of the Order in Council; for the 1963 Republican Constitution to come into effect, section 2 of Order in Council was repealed. To this end, all that is needed is for the 1999 Constitution to pave for a new code book is for Decree 24 of 1999, which established the 1999 constitution to be repealed.
2. Can we adopt the Brazillian example and dedicate 100% of oil and gas royalties to education? To fund voucher program to enable any Nigerian attend any school and use the royalties to pay school fees?
3. Land Use Act: Can we scrap the land use policy or remove it from the constitution so states can amend their land laws to suit their needs.
Secondly, digitalize all their operations on electoral activity. In this day and age when smart phones can do almost anything, it remains a mystery that we cannot vote digitally.
Third, ensure the prosecution of all electoral offenders. All thugs and touts involved in electoral fraud should be arrested and prosecuted to deter future offenders.