Prof. Julius Ihonvbere
Former Special Adviser to former-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, has said states should have their own constitution, flag, crest and anthem to reflect true federalism in the country.
Speaking at the constitution amendment review in Owan Federal Constituency, weekend, Ihonvbere said the constitution should be subjected to a referendum to give it a wider acceptance.
He maintained that every Nigerian should have a copy of the constitution at no cost, as is done in other African countries.
He decried a situation where politicians “Abujarised” the formation of political parties, where one needs to have offices across the 36 states of the federation, including Abuja before one can contest for a councillor in his ward, describing it as “antithetical to genuine democracy.”
Facilitator of the conference, Hon. Pally Iriase, who represents Owan Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said he was buoyed by the resolve of Owan people large turnout of people on the occasion.
He said the beauty of the constitution amendment is that it is what the people of Nigeria want that will be reflected and not what the political elite desired.
Iriase averred that the wishes and rights of the people will not be trampled upon in the amendment process.
However, Nigerians were sceptical about the template set for voting on key issues at the House of Representatives peoples’ public session on the review of the 1999 construction. For instance the people are miffed over the lumping of section 315 (5) (a) and (b) all together - the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Act, the Land Use Act, Public Complaints Commission Act, Nation Security Agencies Act - where voters are only oblige to say yes or no for the removal or otherwise of the section of the construction.