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Tambuwal advocates constitutional provision for referendum

…as Ozokhome, Odinkalu insist on fresh constitution

Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, caused huge applause in Port Harcourt on Wednesday when he advocated for a constitutional amendment to accommodate a clause for a referendum.

Tambuwal spoke during one of the sessions at the 2021 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) annual general conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He admitted that since the 1960 constitution, there has been no constitution that truly involved the people.

The former speaker of the House of Representatives said the closest was the effort by the 7th National Assembly when they organised public hearings in 360 constituencies to gather inputs for an amendment. He said the effort led to a new document, but that then President Goodluck Jonathan, refused to sign it.

Tambuwal said the choice before Nigerians at the moment was either to end the present constitution which he said was adapted from the 1978 constitution or draft a new one altogether.

Read also: Sokoto aims at transparency, prompt payment of salaries

In his intervention, Mike Ozokhome, rejected the proposition for an amendment, saying the document was merely an attachment to a decree signed only by Abdulsalami Abubakar after the efforts of Niki Tobi, a retired justice of the Supreme Court.

Ozokhome said a new constitution was possible and easy by using treating issues on the exclusive list in section 4 of the constitution. According to the senior lawyer, no amount of amendment will make the present constitution workable.

He said Nigerians were yelling for abolition of bi-cameral legislature, reduction of 360 federal constituencies, removal of full-time law-making, etc.

Speaking online, Chidi Odinkalu, a professor, supported calls for a fresh constitution, saying the army wrote the present constitution from the one of 1989 that was not inaugurated.

He said Nigerians were capable of negotiating national unity and how to live together.

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