Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta Governor, said on Wednesday that Nigeria required a new Constitution, not an amendment, to address developing concerns of good administration and increasing interest among Nigerians.
Senator James Manager’s Senate Sub-Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, led by Okowa, paid him a courtesy call at Government House in Asaba.
“There is no doubt that there is still more to be done in our Constitution to make it a near-perfect document, and I am aware that the National Assembly has worked hard to see that some of the revisions are implemented.
“I thank God that those brought here are familiar with the zone, so they will comprehend when the people actually speak.
“However, I also wish that some individuals from other zones had the opportunity to come down here and hear the words of our people firsthand because often we don’t realize the depths to which the people of the Niger Delta are subjected in our country.
“We believe in one Federation; we believe in Nigeria’s unity, but we will continue to ask questions.”
He stated that a new Constitution for the country had become necessary due to flaws in the 1999 Constitution, and urged the inclusion of a clause that would allow for the rewriting of the Constitution while it was still in effect until a new one was ready.
We are aware that some revisions have lately been made, but we are also aware that the Constitution itself looks to have been hurriedly put up and handed over soon before the 1999 elections.
“I wish it were feasible to restart the process and rewrite the Constitution,” Okowa said. “I also believe that there may be a need for us to look very thoroughly at ways and methods of rewriting the Constitution as a new document even if the existing Constitution survives.
He recalled that the process of revising the 1999 Constitution began in the 7th Assembly, but that it was halted due to differences at the time.