The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari on the principle of federal character as contained in Section 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ekweremadu, who spoke during a lecture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, on Monday, insisted that Buhari violated that section of the constitution in his initial appointments in every ramification.
He said Federal Government’s appointments ought to reflect the diversity of the country.
According to him, a country that had undergone the trauma Nigeria had passed through should be careful to carry every section along.
He contended that the appointments made so far by the current administration were clearly lopsided because they have left the South-East totally empty-handed.
He said, “I think that in this country that is just recovering from a most divisive and bitter-fought presidential election; a country where a vicious civil war has been fought and the scares are still fresh; in a country where a presidential election believed to have been won by a part of the country was annulled; in a country which has deteriorated from one where citizens held high political and civil service offices outside their places of origin to one in which they hardly do so anymore; and indeed in a country where there has been consistent outbreaks of militancy and restiveness by people who believe they have been shortchanged, maltreated, and, therefore, better off outside the Nigerian commonwealth, I firmly believe from the depth of my heart and conscience that you do not even need a soothsayer or the compulsion of the constitution to know that you must necessarily carry every part of the country along.
The title of Ekweremadu’s lecture was “The politics of constitution review in a multi-ethnic society,” and it was organised by the Faculty of Law of NAU, Awka.
Ekweremade said that it had become imperative to review the nation’s constitution on the grounds of ambiguity and the failure to make decisions over some critical issues.
He noted that the difficulty in amending the constitution was caused by mutual suspicion of the elite.
The deputy senate president said, “Mutual ethno-sectional and religious suspicions have become so ingrained in our body polity that even the most patriotic and altruistic intentions are almost always interpreted from myopic prisms and interests.”
Speaking at the occasion, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor, said it would amount to fallacy for anybody to say that Nigeria’s unity was not negotiable.
He noted that Nigeria had failed to learn from the lessons of history.
He maintained that, “The reality over the years remains that in spite of the best efforts of all our leaders past or present, Nigeria’s unity is not guaranteed. It is simply, at best, an aspiration and not yet an achievement.”
Obiozor advised that if the country would realise its potentials, it must face reality by “stopping the syndrome of self-delusion about Nigerian historical exceptionality.”
“Today, if the truth must be told, our diversity has turned into disorder and our democracy, into an invitation to incremental anarchy,” Obiozor said.
He said that the intrusion of the military into politics had not helped matters because it had divided the country into many lines, “particularly the lines of ethnic origin and religion.”
According to him, the 2015 presidential election revealed that the country remains divided in spite of the nation’s claims and pretences to national unity.
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