Some eminent leaders of the Yoruba race at the weekend asked elected office holders notably in the National Assembly from the South-west zone to henceforth withdraw their participation from the ongoing constitution review process.
A communique issued at the end of a meeting presided over by former presidential candidate, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, said the meeting was a follow-up to the August 30, 2012 Yoruba National Assembly held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
According to the communiqué, which said the meeting was briefed by the convener of the August meeting, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd.), the eminent leaders rejected the current amendment process, saying the National Assembly lacks the temerity to produce a constitution for the nation.
It further described as “irresponsible,” the decision by the National Assembly “to distant itself from a most fundamental demand of the people of Nigeria for a constitution of the people, by the people and for the people.”
The communique also said it was wrong for a government to give constitution to a country, explaining that it is rather the constitution that produces a government.
The communique read in part: “The meeting noted that citizens’ interest cannot be secured or guaranteed either as to their rights or development needs until they become stakeholders in their affairs. This can only come about through an agreement of the people on the manner and terms of government or in other words a constitution of the people.
“The meeting held the view that the present constitutional amendment charade promoted in various zones by the National Assembly in place of a people’s constitution is an outright abuse and embarrassment to our people. This is apparent from the disorderly constitutional amendment meetings organised by the National Assembly to achieve wrong purposes, such as the intended undue extension of tenure of political office holders at the expense of the people.
“The meeting resolved that without a constitution acceptable to the people of Nigeria, no election is valid, proper or even legitimate. Therefore, the Yoruba people in today’s meeting adopted this position that the participation in any further election until a people’s constitution is made is not only futile but utterly unacceptable.”