Pro National Conference Organisation (PRONACO) has rejected Federal Government’s decision to implement some aspects of the resolutions of the national confab through constitution amendments process of the national assembly instead of the referendum of the people.
The political movement initiated by late Anthony Enahoro and Prof Wole Soyinka, among others in 2005 was reacting to the decision of the Federal Executive Council that aspects of the 2014 national conference resolutions that require constitutional review will be sent to the national assembly for constitutional amendments, while those related to policy review will be forwarded to the relevant agencies for implementations.
Olawale Okunniyi, the group’s spokesperson in statement on Thursday in Lagos faulted the proposed legislative amendments of the Nigerian constitution, saying it cannot lead the country to the desired enthronement of a peoples’ constitution for the country “as the national assembly cannot make a constitution but laws based on the provisions of a constitution originally produced by the people”
He said apart from that, the vested political self interest of the national assembly is capable of jeopardising the yearnings of Nigerians for a brand new constitution that can be truly owned by them through a referendum or elected constituent assembly stressing that the national assembly as a legislative organ of government has no conventional or legal locus to foist a constitution on the Nigerian citizens.
PRONACO further explained that no amount of amendments or tinkering with the 1999 constitution can ever turn the document decree into existence by the military into a peoples’ constitution for country, averring that a nation’s constitution is normally given directly by the people and not by its government or any of its organs or agents.
While applauding the steps taken so far by the Federal Government to deepen Nigeria’s constitutional democracy by convening the 2014 national confab, Okunniyi however cautioned the Federal Government that “it is an aberration and indeed abnormal for a government to produce a constitution for the people as they are only elected to make and implements laws and policies in accordance to the provisions of the constitution covenanted by the people.”
The frontline political activist, who is also the Head of Secretariat of Project Nigeria Movement of eminent leaders of thought and leading political activists being led by Prof Ben Nwabueze, SAN, however asserted that by the very imposition and foisting of the 1999 constitution by the military it can never be amended into becoming a constitution but will ever remain a decree. “Therefore there is counterproductive for the federal government to propose such constitutional amendments” PRONACO Concluded.