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Public hearing futile without new constitution, Aniagwu tells senate

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John Aniagwu


• Lauds The Guardian Series On True Federalism
• FCT Natives, Women Group Lament Marginalisation

The just concluded public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution will be another futile exercise, if it does not birth a new constitution and restructuring of the country.
 
Vicar General, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, John Aniagwu, yesterday, said the country’s Constitution was too flawed and complicit in Nigeria’s troubles to be amended.
 
Aniagwu, also the Parish Priest, St. Leo Catholic Church, Ikeja, Lagos, commended The Guardian series on “True Federalism is the answer, after all”, saying it is the right campaign that the country needed to pull back from the brink.
 
“A constitution that is irreparably flawed does not need a review but a replacement. Ours is supposed to be a federation, but the Constitution is not federal. So, the Senate holding a public hearing across the geopolitical zones on the review of the constitution is an exercise in futility. The National Assembly is just doing that to douse the tension and agitations, where all that we need is a complete overhaul and genuine constitution. For me, it is just a waste of time,” he said.

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Aniagwu added that it does not matter the system of government adopted, be it presidential or parliamentary, insofar it is a proper Federal system.
 
Similarly, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) natives have called on the National Assembly to use opportunity provided by the public hearing on review of the constitutionto address issues that have undermined the people’s political, economic and social rights.  

The indigenes, under the aegis of Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA), are also demanding that the territory be given the status of a state.

Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting by the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), OIDA President, Pastor Danladi Jeji, lamented that FCT indigenes have been marginalised for long and far reaching alteration of the Constitution was needed to actualise their demands.

On his part, Executive Director, CHRICED, Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi urged lawmakers to address the marginalisation and violation of political, civil, economic and cultural rights of FCT natives. 

Also, a women’s group, Political Participation Technical Working Committee, in its submission through the group’s Chairman, Mrs. Ebere Ifendu, called for domestication of international laws protecting women rights of which Nigeria is a signatory.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on the exercise for Abia and Imo states, Orji Uzor Kalu, disclosed that his committee received 48 memoranda, urging the people to be expectant that their views would be attended to.

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