The President Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, Comrade Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo, has reiterated the need for a constitutional review that would accommodate the interest of the minorities by enforcing strict adherence to fiscal federalism based on resource control and devolution of power as panacea for peace and sustainable development.
Making this submission in a paper presented at the ’National Conference On The Future of Nigeria’, held in Washington D.C, USA, last weekend, Peretuobo, attributed the growing ethnic agitations in the country to the fundamental lapses in the constitution that was foisted on the people by successive military governments who ruled by decrees and barrels of guns.
He noted that there was never a time that the Nigerian people sat together to adopt both the 1979 and 1999 constitution as the constitutional conferences that reviewed them prior to adoption were the creation of military rulers then to fulfilled all righteousness as the input made were never taken into cognisance by the dictators in power.
He stated that until the Nigerian people were made to come to a round table and deliberate on how they choose to be govern themselves with reference to the principle of fiscal federalism that would guaranty the rights and privileges of the minority ethnic groups in resource control, devolution of power and restructuring, there would continue to be ethnic nationalities agitations.
According to him, “The 1979 and 1999 Constitutions are military decrees wearing a constitutional gown. The military rulers enacted them only to satisfy their dictatorial urge. Since after the 1957/8 constitutional conferences, none of the Constitutional conferences held so far by successive governments have produced any Constitution”.
“The 1995 Constitutional conference held by Late Gen. Sani Abacha, the Constitutional Reforms Conference by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, the Pro-National Conference (PRONACO) by PA Anthony Enaharo and Prof. Wole Soyinka in 2006 as well as the 2014 National Dialogue by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan did not resulted in the enactment of any Constitution”.
“The 1999 Constitution which is a creation of Gen. Abubakar Abdusalami’s military junta cannot be said to be representing Nigerians interests”.
“The only way that consensus can come in is when Nigerians sit together to enact law for ourselves. It is my humble view that some of the above mentioned constitutional conferences have wider acceptance by Nigerians”.
“If the Government of the day can implement the recommendations of the PRONACO Constitution or the 2014 National Dialogue, the constitutional crisis in the country would be addressed”.
“My suggestion therefore to the solution of the Nigeria’s future is for the government to address the constitutional crisis in the country, vis-a-vis the popular demands for restructuring, devolution of power to the region/States, resource control and true federalism”.
“To us in the Niger Delta region, our demands are in addition to the above are self-determination and political autonomy. We want to be free citizens in our fatherland. The present political structure of Nigeria treated Niger Deltans as outcasts”, he concluded.