Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Yoruba Council of Elders, also known as Igbimo Agba Yoruba, has advised the federal government to discard the 1999 Constitution and adopt the 1963 Constitution alongside the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference as a template for Nigeriaâ€™s political development and restructuring.
This position was made known yesterday in a communiquÃ© released and signed by the associationâ€™s President General and Secretary-General; Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN) and Dr. Kunle Olajide, respectively at the end of its 19th national executive meeting in Ibadan.
According to the communiquÃ©, â€œthe 1999 Constitution which in fact is the old military decree 24, is a pseudo federal constitution, (a unitary constitution in disguise), it cannot work in a multi ethnic country like Nigeria.
â€œA constitution that virtually neutralises the local government system which is nearest to the people has invariably consigned the people to irrelevance and put development at the grassroot in reverse gear.
â€œA constitution and system of government that continues to exploit natural resources to enrich the ruling class at the expense of the people cannot endure. This constitution compels corruption.
â€œOur dear country is currently confronted with daunting challenges of increasing youth/ graduate unemployment fuelling insecurity, kidnapping, armed robbery and separatist agitations. These challenges clearly show that Nigeriaâ€™s problems are foundational and structural and the unending piecemeal amendments of the 1999 constitution cannot work, it will merely be postponing the doomsday.
â€œThe constitution must be discarded, and the 1963 constitution with the resolutions of the 2014 national conference should be used as a template for the ground norm which will be submitted to the people in a referendum.â€
This, the President-General of the YCE, Sofola, said the association is in full support of restructuring, calling on the Federal government to do the needful and chart a new course for the political emancipation of the country.