Mon. Jun 21st, 2021

Human Rights Activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has stated that the National Assembly has decided not to change the constitution because senators are protecting their personal interests.

Adegboruwa said the senators do not want to change the constitution because of the many benefits they derive from from it.

Quoting Section of the Constitution, he added that the provision to change the present constitution is included since the constitution has provided a power for its amendments.

The Human Rights activist further explained that the conditions for the existence of Nigeria does not favour the country itself hence need for the adoption of a new constitution.

In his reaction on a ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Channels Television, the SAN countered a statement made by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly that the constitution can only be reviewed.

” I dont think anybody is deceived to think that the present National Assembly would give us a new constitution. That sovereign national conference would be conference that has no limitation. Nobody can tell any Nigerians that you can not discuss any aspect of your existence. That person himself is a Nigerian. What special power does he has that is tieing our hands and legs? and said I will not agree with you once you discuss matters relating to unity. 

“Who has that unity? The Constitution says the sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria and government derive power from the people of Nigeria. So, if those in power are the ones controlling the people, definitely they are the ones not cooperating by the rules of the constitution.

“Since it is true that power belong to the people, then you hear the people and know what they want. We do have a system whereby the people only know what the government wants. That is not a true federation.

“It must be clear that reading constitution apart from the fact that may have been trained in terms of interpretation, does not require so much. The word ‘Amend’ is a grammatical evolution that means ‘to alter, change, add, remove and delete’. 

“For a person to say that the only power he has is to change a particular section and that he does not have the power to change the constitution means there is no desire by the members of the National Assembly are not interested in new constitution because that new constitution may not benefit them. It may squeeze them away. That is why they want to remain the status quo.

“We interested in protesting our own interests and if it is true that he represents the people and the it has been said that the conditions for the existence of Nigeria presently does not favour the country itself. So for him to have insisted on that status quo means they are benefitting from it. 

“Section 9 did not say that we can not give a new constitution but the condition to doing it is enormous. It requires a particular number in terms of endorsement either in the Senate or in the House of Representatives or within the spheres of those who are to affect the course of the constitution.

” No need to mislead the people. Once you have the power to amend, the power includes the provision to add, remove and jettison the constitution for a new one.

“Senators do not need to wait for the people, they’re our representatives. They’re suppose yo have our mandate. They have listened to what seventeen Governors of a particular region, elders from middlebelt and stakeholders in the North said that the condition for existing as a nation does not exist and we can not continue to exist except the existence is for their own interests.

“The platform for giving a new constitution exists in the present constitution and also for us to have a totally new avenue which is a sovereign national conference.

“If the President is elected by the people of Nigeria I presume in 2019 for the polls under peace, stability and prosperity of this nation, and he sees what is going on across the country, it shows tht security has broken and the constitution says ‘security and welfare of the people shall be primary purpose of government’.

“If security does not exist that means government does not exist. The government we claim to be representing us has failed.”he said The Deputy Speaker, Ovie Omo-Agege, had previously said that the National Assembly is not ’empowered by the constitution to change but to alter the constitution’.

He said the Senate can only see to the amendments of vital aspects of the constitution rather than adopting an entirely new one.

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