Elections not our priority now as a nation, says Emmanuel
Urges Houses of Assembly to stop amendment of 1999 Constitution
Presiding Pastor Livingspring Chapel International, Femi Emmanuel, yesterday, warned Nigerians against investing so much in another general elections next year without resolving the fundamental issues of Constitution change, which he described as the bane of the nation’s growth, development and peaceful co-existence.
The cleric, who spoke at a media briefing ahead of the church’s 2022 yearly World Lifting Conference scheduled to start next Monday to Sunday, warned that the 2023 elections like others conducted in the past would not change the fortune of Nigeria for good.
He specifically said that none of the major players currently out or that have been presented to run for the various elective positions has what it takes to redeem the country under the current warped and lopsided 1999 Constitution.
Emmanuel also urged the current State Houses of Assembly in the 36 states not to pass the ongoing constitution amendment bill, saying that what the country needed was not an amendment to the 1999 Constitution but a complete change with one that would have referendum and voice of the people.
He said: “The heat is on for the upcoming 2023 elections, but in my sincere view, as a person who has been involved in Nigeria’s political affairs up to being elected as the Deputy Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly between 1992 and 1993, election is not our priority now as a nation. I am not just a pastor, I have been in the political trenches and I know how Nigerian democracy works.
It is like putting the cart before the horse and postponing evil days. What our country needs now is a rearrangement to establish fairness, justice and equity.”
“The country has been operating a unitary system of government, which we deceptively called democracy. Our constitution is not a democratic constitution. It is like a military decree.”
“The question we should ask ourselves is: where did we sit to agree as a people to make Nigeria 36 states? Who divided Nigeria into 774 local councils? This happened on the table of a military general that came to govern Nigeria.”
The cleric said that the country called Nigeria “died in 1966 when the military took over and the Constitution was suspended and replaced by a unitary system, adding that the crux of Nigeria’s problem is the Constitution where one ethnic group feels superior to others.
“1999 Constitution is a fraud. The Nigerian constitution as earlier stated forced the dominance of a particular ethnic group over and above the other ethnic groups in the country. It has more states and local councils, as well as more seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. By that fraud, no bill passes in the National Assembly if it is not in favour of the dominant group.
“No state House of Assembly should pass the so-called amendment to the constitution. Fraud cannot be amended, our constitution is a fraud, it is a lie and there are so many lies told in that constitution that have to be jettisoned.”
He, therefore, urged Christians to get involved in politics, saying that the church can no longer stand aloof.