By Sunday Okobi
The planned removal of fuel subsidy, constitutional reforms and the threat of Boko Haram are issues that a pan Nigeria group, Project Nigeria Movement, has said if not properly handled would spell doom for the country’s democracy.
The group warned that the country was headed for collapse unless the people were allowed to write their own constitution.
The group comprising; the patriots, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Yoruba Unity Forum is led by eminent jurist, Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN).
The group made its position known after its meeting at Alaga House, Yaba, Lagos Monday, where it frowned at what it termed “the on-going lethargy in governance across the country.”
The group, after assessing the security issues in the country, fuel Subsidy and constitutional review, emphasised that unless the Nigerian constitution was democratised, democracy would collapse.
In his remarks, Nwabueze said the Nigerian constitution needed to be democratised for democracy to thrive.
“First and foremost, we must have to democratise the Nigerian constitution. There cannot be democracy where we have not democratised our constitution. Though Nigeria gained democracy in 1999, the constitution is yet to be democratised,” Nwabueze said.
He called for a peoples’ conference from which an authentic constitution of the country would emerge.
“Our first concern is to democratise this constitution through a peoples’ conference. There must be a referendum and all the ethnic nationalities will be involved to evoke a peoples’ constitution. It may be a long a process but it must be done.”
Secretary of the group, Olawale Okunniyi, who briefed the press, also said except the issue of constitutionalism was resolved; democracy might not survive in the country.
“Except we resolve the issue of constitutionalism, we may not be able to have democracy,” Okunniyi said
He emphasises that the group would engage all facets of the society in its quest to give Nigerians a peoples’ constitution.
“We are going to harmonise all the constitutions, including PRO-NACO, Constitutional Conference and resolve the process of making constitution,” he said.
Representative of NLC President, Chris Ajaero, also said the whole issue surrounding fuel subsidy was fraudulent.
“We have all determined to stop this second effort at removal of subsidy on petrol at all cost. Besides, the whole story about subsidy is full of fraud,” Ajaero posited.
Stating further, Ajaero said removal of fuel subsidy would inflict more hardship on Nigerians.
“So, these and more problems, especially the hardship that it is going to inflict on Nigerians is one of the reasons that labour decided to engage government despite government’s last moves to break the ranks of the labour movement which we are resisting.”
In his submission, Dr. Kunle Olajide said government had never kept its promises on fuel subsidy since the enthronement of democracy in 1999.
“We have been treated to the story of fuel subsidy since 1999 but all the promises have never been fulfilled,” Olajide said.
“Corruption has grown in leaps and bounds since 1999. Corruption is the problem with Nigeria and the ordinary people shouldn’t be made to suffer for the inefficiency of government.”
According to Olajide, any industrial crisis in the country would lead to the total collapse of Nigeria, hence the group has embarked on a battle to save Nigeria from collapse.