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June 12 and the junta of 1999 Constitution


The two-day National Public Hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution is, indeed, a great step towards national integration and development. That’s how transformation, reformation and restoration begin. Great changes don’t happen in one fell swoop. In their recently released book, Change Your World, John C. Maxwell and Rob Hoskins significantly noted how “small actions, (when) made consistently, lead to big changes.” And the dictum that “change is constant” even abundantly makes it clear that we can come to terms with the terms and conditions of required, desired, aspired changes.

If we do make certain changes in our everyday choices and decisions, I don’t think crucial changes required for national coherence and cohesion should have taken so long a time to review! It clearly means we’ve not been progressing or learning.

Something is exceedingly wrong somewhere, I suspect, for us to have been so passive, domiciled, subservient and even dominated by some dictatorial document particularly established to suite the epochal exigencies and existential necessities, nay of a military regime, to which we’ve been brainwashed or beguiled in surrendering individual and collective goals and destinies.


That’s why Nigeria is where it is today: Kidnapping, killing, criminality, sophistry, banditry, venality, and all sorts or assortments of impregnable acts and actions, extremely devoid of corrective measures. I am fully persuaded that the glamourous clamour for ‘restructure Nigeria’ came out of the unshakeable conviction and impression of ‘bending history.’ Yes, it was 44th United States President, Barack Obama, who talked about ‘bending history.’ Not presumably, every ‘Promised Land’ does have to essentially bend history some way or other.

Tell me, if the American history of white supremacy – the white holding public offices and running the spheres and affairs of the country – was not ‘bent,’ to such an extent that it would accommodate and assimilate the black, how would someone like Barack Obama, who is an African American, have become an American President, even the first African American; and even so, how will the American Dream be achieved, anyway? Considerably, that’s the hallmark of bending history, namely that we become advocates and ambassadors of equality, tolerance and opportunities in all ramifications.

A potential review of the 1999 Constitution should not be a mimetic action, or mere soliloquy, with no suspense whatsoever. Continually creating “necessary illusions” or “emotionally potent simplifications” to hinder the chain of change in the Constitution, indeed in the country, would mean, even though that’s what’s commonplace in 20-21th century democracy, we’re still potentially puzzled, or puerile, in the ever-changing game-mechanism of politicking.


Clearly, then, the changes that were made and enacted in 1999 brought us where we are today, and yet we are not holistically concerned and committed in ousting the very basic problem of havoc, hatred, envy, vainglory and hypocrisy, in every realm of government and leadership. To be sure, that’s the 21st century we created for ourselves.

Assuming it was possible to review the 1999 Constitution. Most importantly, the humongous budget, perhaps, the biggest, lavished on public officials and all those paradisical palaces occupied by political apparatchiks would be terribly defunded, so much so that public offices would be desensitised. Running for presidency, for instance, or running for governorship, needs desensitisation. Seriously seeking one office or the other should instead be inspired by the burning desire to build, beam hopes, and be a solid block upon which others could indiscriminately be compactly joined.

On from there, I believe other changes would naturally be within our grips to come by, because – invoking Chinua Achebe – when one finger is stained with palm oil, it soils the others.

Segun Ige (08141688084), a freelance journalist in Lagos, wrote via


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