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Stakeholders advocate adoption of 2014 national confab report for new constitution

Dialogue Highlights Concerns Over Legitimacy of 1999 Constitution and Calls for Reform

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Following a National Constitution Dialogue convened by The Patriots, a prominent think-tank group, stakeholders have recommended the adoption of the 2014 National Confab Report and the 1963 Republican Constitution as foundations for deliberations on a new Nigerian Constitution. The dialogue, which addressed the perceived illegitimacy of the current 1999 Constitution, concluded with a call for comprehensive constitutional reforms to address various challenges facing the country.

In a communique signed by The Patriots’ General Secretary, Olawale Okunniyi, stakeholders emphasized that the 1999 Constitution, with its presidential system of government, has perpetuated a “politics of alienation and increasing appetite for state capture” among the ruling elite. This, they argued, has led to widespread disenchantment across Nigeria, highlighting the need for a constitutional framework that is both representative and legitimate.

The communique underscored the consensus that the draft Constitution from the 2014 National Conference and the 1963 Republican Constitution possess qualities of popular acceptance and inclusivity, making them suitable platforms for national deliberations on constitutional reforms. It advocated for the initiation of an elective Constituent Assembly or a national referendum, facilitated by the Federal Government, to facilitate the formulation of a new democratic constitution.

Furthermore, the dialogue put forth a series of recommendations aimed at addressing fundamental issues in Nigerian governance. These included ending political impunity, reforming the security sector by establishing state police, and restructuring the country’s governance system to ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability. The stakeholders also emphasized the importance of strengthening democratic institutions and promoting grassroots democracy for enhanced citizen engagement.

In response to the dialogue outcomes, The Patriots resolved to establish an inclusive team tasked with engaging with various stakeholders, including the Nigerian government, to garner support for the proposed constitutional reforms. The objective is to promote cohesion, stability, good governance, and prosperity under a new democratic people’s constitution.

The recommendations put forward by The Patriots reflect a growing consensus among stakeholders regarding the urgent need for constitutional reforms to address systemic challenges and foster national development in Nigeria.

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