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Constitutional amendment, NASS and falsehood

By Doyin Okupe

The Nigerian Elites remain the greatest enemies of this country called Nigeria.

The Nigerian elites indulge perpetually in deception, insincerity, and crass opportunism in handling the affairs of the Nation.

The fact that the 1999 constitution as amended is a fraudulent, lopsided, and unworkable document is unquestionable.

In order to douse tension within the polity and offer false hopes, every now and then we embark on futile and fruitless exercises of trying to superficially plaster over large creases and cleavages contained in this irredeemable document.

Unfortunately, when viewed clinically, the National Assembly (NASS) cannot oversee a genuine amendment of the constitution because that body itself is a great part of our problem. The representation at the NASS is faulty, lopsided, and unjustifiable.

For example, Lagos and Kano had virtually the same population some few years back. But kano had since been divided into two states. Hence while Kano and Jigawa by 1999 constitution have 6 senators, Lagos has only 3. This disproportionate representation is a regrettable hallmark of the 1999 constitution.

But can this Senate right that wrong??

No. It’s a political impossibility.

For instance, if the people feel that we don’t need a bicameral legislature, can this NASS vote out itself?

OR if the people want a restructured Nigeria or a return to Regional Government and these views do not go down well with the North, can such propositions see the light of day when the representatives from the North far outnumbers those from the south combined?

OR how do you limit the powers of a sitting President or governors when they have strong control over their respective legislators?

From the above it is clear that a true people’s constitution cannot be birthed by this NASS as constituted, no matter the good intentions of the proponents of the exercise to amend the constitution.

In view of the inherent contradictions in the current exercise, I will strongly recommend that the NASS for once and for posterity sake tow the path of Truth and of Honour by jettisoning the entire fraudulent document called the 1999 constitution foisted on the Nigerian citizens by anti-democratic forces, substitute it with the original true people’s constitution of 1963 and convert the present exercise to the amendment of that constitution.


Doyin Okupe is a former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to former President, Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs.

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