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AKANDE: Agitation for Biafra, resource control are results of ‘bad’ 1999 constitution

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A leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its former national chairman, Chief Adebisi Akande, has ascribed the agitation for self-determination like the demand for Biafra and call for restructuring to ‘bad’ Constitution of 1999 that serves as a platform for social economic inequality.

He said that all the socio-political and economic challenges the country has continued to contend with was chiefly as a result of the errors of the 1999 Constitution.

Akande stated this when he spoke at the 2017 Distinguished Role Model Award of the Wings Schools, Iwo, in honour of the late educationist and administrator, Ben Adisa Akinola.

Akande, who chaired the event pointed at several pitfalls in the 1999 Constitution, which has continued to foster acrimony in the country and its federating components.

“There are many aspects in the constitution that are never workable to Nigerian socio-economic and political structures. There are anomalies, lapses and imbalance posing serious challenges to the nation’s constitution and the way it is can lead Nigeria back to greater poverty.

“The constitution that can move Nigeria forward is the constitution that recognises the culture of the people in relation to their occupation.

“The background of economic life of any community should be the type of its own culture. No nation practising federalism develops in a circumstance, where all or larger percentage of existing power is concentrated into a single hand.

“For instance in Osun State today, one can’t drive five kilometres of roads leading to borders of Kwara, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti states without potholes. The same applies to other states of the federation as many of them have been rendered subservient to the power that be at the centre,” he said.

Speaking further Akande said that unless the constitution was “passionately and circumstantially” reviewed in agreement with the needs of various constituents, the nation would remain in disharmony.

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He said, “Nigeria Constitution (1999) serves as a platform for social economic inequality and now constitutes the major obstacle to peace among various generating country. Those who wrote the constitution did not realise that political denomination and subjugation breed revolt, community disharmony and national insecurity.

“The bad constitution of 1999 has now begun to stimulate demand for ethnic self-determination and economic security, otherwise being called resource control or restructuring. Whatever name you call it, community disharmony is a burden on national security and it is dangerous for economic development and peace.

“What we are saying, for instance, is that the constitution which (according to 1999 census) gave Lagos State (with 5,725,153 population) 20 local governments, also gave Kano State (with 5,810,494 population) 44 local governments. The same constitution, which gave Anambra (with 2, 796,510 population) 21 local governments, also gave Jigawa (with 2, 875,559 population) 27 local governments.

“Such constitutional provisions seem capable of denying the federating components of Nigeria most importantly on their equal opportunity for accessing the national revenue allocations. Such agitations may not be healthy for community harmony, national security to influence the change for the better.”

 

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