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Constitution amendment cannot work in Nigeria —Al-Mustapa

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Former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Nigerian military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, Hamza Al-Mustapa, has knocked calls for a constitution amendment, saying the elites will not let it work in Nigeria.

Al-Mustapha, who spoke to journalists on Sunday in Abuja, declared that the ongoing amendment of the 1999 constitution is bound to fail as ordinary citizens are not being carried along in the process.

“Constitutional amendments should be given time and should not be seen carrying the opinions of a few elites abandoning the majority,” Al-Mustapa said.

He also regretted that most Nigerians in rural communities are not aware of what is going on as the whole exercise is shrouded in secrecy.

“The elites are the problem of Nigeria. Institutions are killed by the elites, they determine government direction, they are government contractors. Top civil servants are part of the elites,” the retired military officer added.

“Constitutional amendments are done to carry evebody along, but I can see a Constitutional amendment carrying a few elites in a hurry.

“Most Nigerians, especially the downtrodden in rural communities are not even aware of what is going on, they don’t even have the money to travel to the urban centres for public hearing.

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“At the end of the day, you end up listening to the views of a few elites in trying to amend the constitution.

“The elites are the problem of Nigeria, institutions are killed by the elites, they determine government direction, they are government contractors and top civil servants in the country are also part of the elites.

“So the problem of Nigeria revolves around the elites.

“The whole thing has nothing to do with the poor masses, even the issue of mutual suspicious among ethnic groups is being championed by the elites.

“You say that the 1999 constitution was rejected because it was done in a rush and here you are doing amendment haphazardly.

“If you want to have an acceptable constitution for everybody in the country, then you require a detailed plan of action that will carry everybody along.”

By Isaac Dachen

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