Thursday, 27 July 2017

Use 1963 constitution, 2014 conference report for restructuring - YCE to Federal Government

Yesterday, The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE)  urged the Federal Government to begin the process of restructuring Nigeria by throwing away the 1999 Constitution and the plan to amend it.

Addressing reporters after its 19th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in its Ibadan headquarters yesterday, the council described the 1999 Constitution as the “old military Decree 24”.

In the communique read to reporters by its General Secretary, Dr. Kunle Olajide, on behalf of the President-General, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN), YCE said the constitution is a pseudo-federal constitution, which is actually a unitary constitution in disguise.

“It cannot work in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria,” the council said.

It read in part: “A constitution that virtually neutralises the local government system, which is the nearest to the people has invariably consigned the people to irrelevance and put development at the grassroots in reverse gear. A constitution and system of government that continue to explore natural resources to enrich the ruling class at the expense of the people cannot endure. This constitution compels corruption.

“Our country is presently confronted with daunting challenges of increasing youth unemployment, which is fueling insecurity, kidnapping, armed robbery and separatist agitations. These challenges clearly show that Nigeria’s problems are foundational and structural, therefore, constitutional. Unending piecemeal amendments of the 1999 Constitution cannot work. It will merely be postponing the doomsday.

“The constitution must be discarded, and the 1963 Constitution and the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference should be used as a template for a new ground rule, which will be submitted to the people in a referendum.”

The council hailed regional integration efforts of Southwest governors and assured them of its support as they raise the stake in preserving the values of the Yoruba people.

The YCE condoled with the families of the late Alagba Adebayo Faleti and Dr. Olu Onagoruwa. They passed away last week.

The council described Faleti as a cultural icon of Yorubaland, Yoruba language exponent, poet and dramatist. It also described Onagoruwa as a foremost solicitor and advocate, a human rights activist and fighter for press freedom.

It urged government at all levels to pay more attention to the plights of pensioners, saying they deserved to enjoy their old age in peace.

Other NEC members at the meeting included Prof. Adetohun Ogunseye, Chief Mrs. Bola Doherty and Chief Ayo Ojebode.

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