Amendment of Constitution without Restructuring, Waste of Time, Says Jang

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By Seriki Adinoyi

Former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, has decried the socio-economic problems bedeviling the country, blaming it on the operations of the 1999 Constitution.

He, however, said amending the constitution without the needed restructuring would amount to effort in futility, and a mere waste of time and energy.

Speaking with journalists in Jos, the state capital, on the state of the nation, Jang, who described the 1999 Constitution as “full of injustice and imbalance,” called for immediate disbandment of the document (constitution).

The former governor noted that it is imperative for all sections of the country to come together and discuss how they want to be governed, which he said would lead to the emergence of a new constitution that will be acceptable by all, adding: “No kind of amendment to the 1999 Constitution would yield the desired results.

“The military cannot create a constitution for a civil and democratic society. The 1999 Constitution (As amended) is problematic because it gives some people undue advantage over the others.

“Such constitution, as we have now, cannot stand, and no matter the amendments, it will not work because our experience has shown that those saddled with the responsibility would only pick some portions that do not suit them to amend, while those that suit them are left untouched even when the issues are detrimental to the survival and wellbeing of other Nigerians.

“For instance, in Plateau State, the population in Jos South Local Government Area alone is three or four times the size of Wase LGA. Yet, Jos South is joined with another council area to form a federal constituency while Wase stands alone as a federal constituency.

“You will find such abnormality and injustice against the people all over the country with the backing of the constitution. It should not be like that.

“The governor as the Chief Security Officer of his state cannot give certain orders to the state Commissioner of Police without the officer getting clearance outside his domain first in Abuja which is also abnormal.”

He stated that: “As a result, what we have presently is an unfortunate situation where state governors, who are supposed to protect the people and drive the developmental aspirations of their people in their respective states without necessarily seeking clearance from Abuja, have now become captives due to the flaws in the constitution.

“The government must allow the people to deliberate, debate and discuss the issues and questions that have arisen from of the constitution.”

As a way forward, Jang insisted that restructuring the country and the enthronement of a new constitution agreed by all Nigerians is the only way out. He called on the federal government to create a special counter-insurgency unit in the armed forces to tackle the problem.