Northern Elders reject Senate’s call for Constitution review

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has condemned the Senate over its call for memoranda on review of the 1999 Constitution.

Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the forum’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday. He said that the N1 billion budgeted for constitution review every four years is a waste of resources and time.

Baba-Ahmed on behalf of the forum noted that planned constitution review is of no value to Nigerians, urging them to reject the proposed move due to economic challenges.

He asked the National Assembly to jettison “the wasteful idea of giving Nigerians the impression that it is involved in a serious review of our Constitution.”

Baba-Ahmed, however, urged the lawmakers to direct their energy and mandate towards convincing President Muhammadu Buhari to end the insurgency in the Northeast and killings.

He said: “Nigeria’s future rests largely on its willingness to address major constraints to equity and justice, a functional structure, consistent good governance, security for all citizens, a credible electoral process, growing understanding between and among all groups and an economy that grows and narrows inequalities between and classes and regions.

“This cannot be achieved by a process that routinizes wasteful expenditure around false hopes.

“The legislature and executive branches of government have large quantities of reviews, recommendations and reports from past attempts at amending the constitutions. These represent enough resources for a review if the legislature is serious about this vital national priority. Even this is not likely to produce a genuine effort to address the basic requirements of securing a stable, secure and prosperous Nigeria, because both arms of this administration are unlikely to accept to put through wide-ranging reviews of the Constitution.”

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