• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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CDHR calls for sovereign national conference, new constitution

CDHR calls for sovereign national conference, new constitution

Amid the prevailing socioeconomic challenges bedevilling the country, the Centre for Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) has said that the 1999 constitution is the root of the problems confronting Nigeria and called for the setting of a sovereign national conference by President Bola Tinubu.

CDHR noted that such conference should be attended by elected representatives of the people to chat the future of the country, stressing that the current constitution was imposed on Nigerians by the military.

This was disclosed by Debo Adeshina, the president of CDHR during a press briefing on Thursday in Ikeja.

Adeshina said the 2014 national conference was not a reflection of Nigerians’ wishes, because most participants were selected by the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, noting that the present government may be playing to the gallery if it fails to listen to calls for a national conference.

“National conference now is inevitable and it should be a sovereign national conference where elected representatives of Nigerians can come together to talk about the future of the country”, he said.

Adeshina said President Tinubu must also take immediate action against the high cost of living and hardship in the country and provide subsidy for food and petrol to check inflation.

“Nigerians have been under torment by the astronomical rise in the prices of basic foods in the marketplace.

“This surge is reflected mainly in the prices of garri, millet, yam, fermented cassava meal (akpu), palm oil, vegetable oil, beef, rice, and beans, among others.

“The high cost of these foodstuffs is alarming primarily because these food items are staples in most homes across the land. The absence of these items would contribute seriously to hunger and malnutrition in the country.

He said, “This gives room for a huge concern as the steep prices have battered the purchasing power of citizens, leading to uncertainty, an increase in poverty, and an unpalatable cost of living. The disruption caused by rising food inflation has further decimated the low wages of the people”.

The CDHR’s president said most activists were displeased with the performance of President Tinubu since he assumed office, saying that Nigerians have not felt the positive impact of his campaign promises.

According to him, “We as activists are not happy with the President’s performance so far. During his campaign, we believed so much in him going by his antecedents as one of those who spearheaded the PRONACO in those days.

“We thought his reign would bring succour and relief to the people especially as we missed that golden opportunity during the June 12 election, but the reverse is the case right now.

“We would like to call on the President to explore the possibility of reaching out to more professionals even outside his cabinet so that his policies and programmes can have a more beneficial effect on the populace”.

Speaking further, Adeshina lamented the deplorable state of roads in the country, especially in Ogun State and advised governors to urgently repair roads to ease the suffering of Nigerians.

“The state of roads in most parts of the country is appalling. The roads have become death traps, this also leads to farm losses and constitutes encumbrance to the movement of food and raw materials in the country.

“The state governments should stop making excuses for this; they should prioritize the development of roads to ease the movement of people and goods. In Ogun state, for example, most of the roads that dotted the state are in a very bad and deplorable state”, he added.