Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,Chief Ernest Shonekan and General Abdulsalam Abubakar during the swearing in of President Buhari

There is a Country, only if…..

May 29th 1999 appeared to be the day Nigeria stepped into the Promised Land. After witnessing the reign of a despot and his death, the people had misgivings about his successor, in the person of Abdulsalam Abubakar. He however surprised Nigerians and the world by declaring his intentions to hand over power to a civilian government by 1999 and actually handing over power. The rest they say is history.

17 years later, we are still basking in the euphoria of democracy. However, we are no better off than we were 17 years ago. With the economy in recession, corruption a norm, agitations for indepence by certain elements in the south east and south region of the country, terrorism, religious crises and a deluge of problems we constantly face in the country, we have to ask ourselves how we got it all wrong. Certainly I have blamed the present administration for some of the problems we face but that is a cowardly act, hence my decision to ask key questions such as “Where did it all go wrong?” and “Why is my country sliding more and more into being a failed state”. A tough question and some might castigate me for the derogatory comment but I am being factual. I am patriotic to my country but that doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to events as they unfold or that I fail to state the truth.

The answers to my questions are not farfetched. On the 5th of May 1999, a constitution was adopted which would be known as the 1999 constitution. This constitution was to serve as the bedrock and the foundation for a new dawn of democracy in the country. So far, it has been an albatross and our undoing. The tenet of this constitution since its adoption has served to enslave the masses and enrich the pockets of heartless and visionless politicians. No wonder these least intelligent and heartless political class only seek to line their pockets with the sweet inner linings of the fruit bore by democracy and leave us fighting over the bitter hard back.

The 1999 constitution was adopted on the premise of hope, but its interpretation by the political class has made it a thorn in our flesh. For instance, the bicameral legislature it offers has proven to be a needless and expensive venture. The senate has been filled with so called senators who are all about the sitting allowance, constituency allocations and juicy committees, while their counterparts in the House of Representatives busy themselves with the Honourable task of “padding”… oops….. Did I just say that? My bad.

Meanwhile the constitution provides for a federal system of government, but our federalism shames the true definition of federalism, alas we practice a quasi-federalism. The federal unit is more powerful than other units, rendering the state and local government units weak and impotent, with States and local governments now rely on “federal allocations” and worse is the fact that these weaker units are headed by witless individuals.

I guess the most annoying part is how the constitution fails to give us a right to say how we want to be governed. Indeed it is sad that there is no provision within the constitution for a referendum. Meaning the government is at will to take certain decisions or actions without recourse to the citizens. This is just plain dictatorial and why we are where we are today. If Mr. President is keen on change, then our constitution should be changed. True federalism must be implemented, abolishment of the bi-cameral legislature, referendum and more changes must be implemented. All I crave is that referendums become a key part of our constitution and a “recall clause” as well should be provisioned for in the constitution so we can recall certain individuals hell bent on running this country aground…. There is a country but only if we want it.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]……..GUY FAWKES…….. An idea can only be tarried not destroyed[/author_info] [/author]


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