The 1999 constitution is why there is so much tension in Nigeria – Prof. Sagay [READ]

The Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay, has made a comparison between the 1963 and 1999 Constitutions submitting that the latter was mistakenly drafted and foisted on Nigeria. Sagay, a professor of law, said agitation for devolution of power enabled each region to develop at its own pace.

The constitutional lawyer said: “I think the first point to make is that Nigeria, to use Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s words, is not a nation. It is geographical entity containing many nations and the difference between a Yoruba and Hausa man or Igbo man is not less than the difference between an English and French man or German. Our original founding fathers observed this early in the political development of this country. They met in Ibadan in January 1950 where they hammered the future of this country and their unanimous conclusion is that we can only survive harmoniously under a strong federal system.

“It was on that basis that those strong regions merged and this whole orientation was repeated in the 1953 Lagos Conference, the 1954 Lyttleton Conference and the pre-independence conferences in 1959. Just before independence, the British from 1957, said that each region could ask for self-government but only external affairs will be handled by the British. Now, Eastern and Western region asked for immediate self-government and they got it in 1957 but the North said it was not ready at the time

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Michel Nimyel

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