At the national public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution which is currently going on in Abuja, the deputy senate president, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has revealed why it will be impossible to discard the 1999 constitution and create a new constitution. According to the deputy senator president, the current constitution only gives the national assembly the powers to alter its provisions and not create a new one. Recall that groups like Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, and the Fixpolitics initiative, which is led by Dr Oby Ezekwesili, have called for a new constitution to solve the challenges facing the nation rather than amend the current constitution.
Replying those who want a new constitution while giving his address at the national public hearing , Senator Omo-Agege said the proposition of a new constitution is desirable but section 9 of the 1999 constitution will have to be amended to achieve that.
He said “some of our compatriots have urged that rather than amend the constitution, we should just make a new constitution all together. We respect this opinions and believe it is the most desirable proposition. However we are conducting this exercise in accordance with the extant legal order, which is the constitution. Specifically, section 9 of the 1999 constitution gives the national assembly the powers to alter the provisions of this constitution and prescribe the manner in which it is to be done. Unfortunately, it does not make similar provisions or provide mechanism for replacing and rewriting an entirely new constitution.”
Speaking further, he said to embark on any process that will give birth to an entirely new constitution without first altering the provisions in section 9, will amount to gross violations of their oath of allegiance to the constitution. He said, it will only take a new amendment to section 9 before it will become possible to give Nigerians a new constitution.
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