Nigeria’s Constitution Needs Replacement, Not Amendment – Olanipekun
LEGAL icon, Chief Wole Olanipekun, has disagreed with calls in some quarters for the amendment to the country’s constitution with a view to have a new Nigeria.
Olanipekun said rather, what the constitution needed was “a total overhaul, a redrafting, a re-crafting and a total replacement, starting from the preamble to the definition schedule”.
He asserted that the recent #EndSARS protests showed Nigeria needed restructuring, as he queried the readiness of Nigerians “to drastically restructure this country, starting from the architectural layout of government and governance as wantonly displayed in the constitution foisted on us by the outgoing military government without any input by Nigerians”.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria spoke at his hometown, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Saturday during the 2020 edition of the yearly Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Award ceremony where 67 secondary school students, 73 university undergraduates, three Law school students and a doctoral student benefitted.
He said, “Between now and 2023, we should be able to have a clean, practical, pragmatic and acceptable constitution which can jurisprudentially be described as grundnorm.
“All arms of government have to be completely redefined, resituated and restrategised for a new Nigeria which will bring about ‘unity and faith, peace and progress’.
“To achieve this end, the National Assembly must also come to the reality that we need the application of the doctrine of necessity for them to jettison whatever powers are vested in them by the Section 9 of the constitution, etc. to segmentally amend it according to the whims and caprices to ‘we, the people of Nigeria’”.
Olanipekun said that such would enable Nigerians to “sit down and give ourselves a true, realistic and workable constitution after we might have earnestly put all our cards on the table by expressing all our wishes and aspirations.”
He said, “This does not translate to termination or suspension of any of the governments at federal, state or local government levels; so that no one should be under any misgiving that one is advocating a displacement or any government.”
The philanthropist said the scholarship programme, which was established to assist students in his hometown, “has produced 231 graduates out of which 40 are medical doctors, 38 agriculturists, 27 engineers, 37 linguists, 16 political scientists, 25 accountants and 48 law graduates out of which 15 have qualified as lawyers”.
He also disclosed plan to institute the Wole Olanipekun Foundation in the community with the goal of “providing succour to the society, ameliorating the plight of the underprivileged, bringing relief to the indigent, extending helping hands to the needy and making life easier to the widow and providing assistance to the impoverished”.
Olanipekun said that the foundation would be committed to youth empowerment and development in the community, adding, “There will be a special programme styled WOF Youth Empowerment Scheme geared towards supporting entrepreneurship development among our teeming youths”.