- The collective view of some members of the Senate is that a brand new Nigerian constitution will not solve the nation's problems
- Such senators uphold the position that stakeholders can only talk about and embark on amending the constitution
- Those who have lent their voices to this argument believe that a change in citizens' attitude is a more pressing necessity
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Getting a new Nigerian constitution has been described by some prominent federal lawmakers as an impossibility.
This group of senators believes it will be impracticable to write a new legal framework which will serve as a template for governance in the country, insisting that amendments are more possible and beneficial endeavours at this time.
Senators Gabriel Suswam, Gersom Bassey, Frank Ibezim and Opeyemi Bamidele who spoke with Punch recently stated that amending parts of the constitution to address the country's economic, political and electoral realities will be very instrumental to bringing Nigeria where it should be.
Suswam said what Nigerians need now are adjustments to the constitution and change of attitude; he maintained that without the latter, the former will a waste of effort.
On his part, Bassey advocated a review of the document as opposed to the plan to produce a brand new one. His argument was that constitutions are written to be later fine-tuned for the evolution of societies.
This same view was reflected in the position of Ibezim who said:
“Constitution amendment enables people to review the state of the nation’s law. Nigerians know their challenges.
"The ongoing constitution review is timely so as to tackle the challenges facing Nigeria.”
Moreover, Bamidele, who happens to be the chairman of the Senate committee on judiciary, human rights, and legal matters, noted that persons calling for a new national template are working with an erroneous notion.
“We cannot have a totally new constitution because the law does not grant us the power to do that. What Section 9 of the constitution grants us the power to do is an amendment to the existing provisions."
Constitution Review: What the World is Expecting from Nigeria, Ganduje
Meanwhile, Governor Abdullahi Gnaduje at the commencement of the public hearing for review of the constitution in Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, and Katsina, spoke on the expectations of the international community from Nigeria.
According to Ganduje, the world would only recognise a united Nigeria, not a divided entity whose centre could not hold.
The Kano governor noted:
“When we are united, we will not only remain stronger but a lot more recognized by the global community."