Plan to constitute high powered technical committee on representation at the confab
Two groups, Project Nigeria (Nigeria Consensus Group) and Pro National Conference Organization, PRONACO, have asked President Goodluck Jonathan not to send the resolutions of the proposed National Conference to the National Assembly as part of inputs for the ongoing constitutional amendments.
The proposed conference is scheduled to hold in the first quarter of this year.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, the spokesperson of the groups, Olawale Okunniyi, said Decree 24 of 1999, christened 1999 constitution, was at the root of the current political strife and tension in Nigeria. He said no amount of amendments could transform it to a constitution legitimately owned by the Nigerian people.
“The universal convention for constitution making is that it is not a government or any of its organs that gives the people of a country a constitution, but that it is the people that give its government a constitution for popular governance,” he said.
The groups, however, contended that the case of Nigeria could be different for her government to continue to amend and operate under a document foisted by a military government. They said their consultations revealed that Nigerians wanted a national conference that could help facilitate a new constitution that would be directly owned by them and not by government organs.
The groups urged Mr. Jonathan to make the diverse ethnic nationalities in the country the core of the composition of the conference as they were the original indigenous component units of Nigeria.
“We are also disturbed by emerging contentions on the mode of representation at the National Conference. Therefore, we plan to constitute high powered technical committee on representation at the National Conference,” they stated.
The groups explained that the need to guide government on how to generate all inclusive representation and participation of the real building blocs of Nigeria at the confab, informed the decision to set up the committee.