The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has said the 1999 Constitution should be scrapped and the 1963 Republican Constitution should be amended and adopted as the country’s constitution.
He spoke on Monday evening while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme.
The 80-year-old senior advocate believed that the 1963 Republican Constitution contained all that were being agitated for in the country at the moment.
Recently, agitations for restructuring, fiscal federalism, state police, amongst others, have been loud in the Southern region of the country with 17 governors and socio-political groups including Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere clamouring for constitutional review.
Some groups are also agitating for Yoruba Nation and Biafra Republic over perceived injustice and dissatisfaction with the present structure of government.
He said, “My own personal preference is that we should scrap this Constitution and adopt the 1963 Republican Constitution. That Constitution contained everything that is being agitated for now. If we had that, if we adopted it, with amendments here and there, to make it accommodate states that we have now rather than region, I think all these agitations will die down and everybody will be happy.”
When asked whether the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has the wherewithal to make that happen, Sagay said, “I really don’t know but his party headed by him commissioned the (Kaduna State Governor, Nasir) El-Nasir Committee to work on the issue of federalism and they have came out with an excellent document and all we need to do is to implement them. And if they are to be implemented as I said, it will be probably be implemented in a totally new constitution instead of trying to amend the existing one.”
“I am personally disappointed that that excellent document is being allowed to gather dust and I think the leaders of the party should now bring it out and go to the President and say, we should now make a move to implement what we ourselves commissioned and have approved because that is what the whole country wants now,” he added.
The PACAC Chairman also said what Nigeria has now is a unitary constitution and not a federal constitution.
“What we have now is a unitary constitution parading itself as a federal constitution,” he stressed, adding that Nigeria needs a clear departure from the existing document.