The only way a better Nigeria, which many have been yearning for, can be achieved is for the people that are short-changed by the present regime to find a way of developing a common strategy to overthrow the existing order, Professor Olusegun Osoba, has said.
According to Osoba, who was a member of the 1976 Constitution Drafting Committee, restructuring is “a lie” and will not achieve the desired change for the most populous black nation on earth.
The septuagenarian who stated this on Tuesday at a public presentation of the Minority Report and Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1976, which he co-authored with the late Dr Bala Usman, reiterated that instead of clamouring for restructuring, what Nigeria needs is a struggle by the people to free themselves from the hold of the present corrupt ruling elite.
The event took place at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, and was put together by the Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT), Zaria.
“The minimum agenda for change cannot be brought about automatically; it cannot be wished into existence; the people have to struggle. The classes of people that are short-changed by the present regime have to find a way of developing a common strategy and it can only be done, if the truth must be said, by overthrowing the existing order. There is no other way.
“In fact, all the nations of the world today who stand tall and proud have, at one point or the other in their history, undergone a revolutionary transformation and they have removed the hands of looters from their treasury and put themselves in the hands of reliable and working honest people.
“So, there is no ambiguity about it, a continuous struggle is the only solution to our problems, not restructuring,” he said.
The book was reviewed by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN). He explained that the writing of the book came about following the failure of Osoba and Usman to agree with the other 47 members of the constitution drafting committee set up by the Murtala Muhammed regime in preparation for the take-off of the Second Republic in 1979.
After Muhammed was killed in a failed coup, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, who took over from him, simply adopted the majority report by the 47 members and discarded the minority report put together by Osoba and Usman, Falana explained.
He noted that the minority report had long addressed some of the issues in the country today, including the minimum age requirement to contest the office of the President.
CEDDERT director, Abubakar Siddique, speaking at the event explained that all challenges identified 43 years ago by Osoba and Usman in their report are yet to be surmounted by the country.
He added, “Our people have sunk into a very deep level of desperation. Corruption level is unbelievably high. We live in a country that is extremely unjust.”
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