The Preamble To Our Constitution; How Well Has It Been Entrenched?

Until on Friday evening, I never intended this to be the topic I will be writing on, but mans propositions has always been subject to God’s dispositions, the reasons for this is not hard to seek, our ways and his ways cannot be the same.

I was going through my constitutional law text book, written by one Mr. kehinde. M.Mowoe , where I was able to have a look at the preamble to the 1999 constitution; before I knew what was happening, I have shunned the jacking, not because of anything else, but for the reason that the preamble to the constitution struck a chord within me., and that indirectly informs my writing this piece. Before you could say Jack Robinson, I already got a plain sheet out, and Raymond writes……….!

For the benefit of those who never had an insight into the preamble to the constitution, it says

        “we the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having firmly and solemnly resolved to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation, under God, dedicated to the promotion of inter-African  unity, world peace , international cooperation and understanding and to provide for ourselves a constitution for the promotion of good government, and welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for  consolidating the unity of our people Do hereby make, Enact and give to ourselves the following constitution”!

What a perfect preamble to a constitution you may say to yourself, but to me it has only left so many questions unanswered. After going through the preamble and analyzing each of the sentences , I was forced to say that the wordings, must have been dictated to whoever it is that was responsible  for its compilation, permit me to say that anyway even though am yet to be an authority.

“We the people of Nigeria having firmly and solemnly agreed to live in unity and harmony, as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation” indeed! When was this agreement made if at all, it was ever made? The Nigeria we see today, has never exhibited a single characteristics of any hitherto agreement to live together.

Sometime ago, I put up the following words as my face book profile…. “I firmly think the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates by lord Lugard sometime in 1914 was nothing more than a fraud”. It generated lots of comments and critics from friends but never removed the slightest shackles of truth from it……..the truth, mind you has always been bitter, and will always be.

I always find solace in the words of the first civilian president, in the person of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, the elder statesman, once said “I do not see Nigeria as a nation, for me it is an appellation of a congregation of people, living within that vast geographical terrain called Nigeria” what a way to think!, I said to myself seeing these words on the pages of one of the national dallies some years ago.

Though, I may not be an adherent of the so-called, republic of Biafra, but I strongly believe, that if the covenants of the Aburri accord in Ghana were ever heeded to, then the preamble to our constitution should have been a more justified one. During the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorate, Fredrick lord Luggard, of blessed memory, forgot to amalgamate the peoples of the northern and southern protectorate. Instead, for selfish reasons, he was quick to amalgamate the administration of the two protectorates, the consequence of his action stares us in the face today. Yes! in law, “res ipsa” will always be “loquitor”.

A clear look at the history of  our nation, since amalgamation down to independence and even in recent times, is nothing more, but a show of shame, In that, it is characterized with myriads of crises, along ethnic/religious sentiments. A locus classicus of this, is the first military coup of january15th 1966, and the counter coup that followed, six months later. In the former, prominent northern military officers were killed, and in the later, the northern military officers retaliated, and today we read the preamble to the constitution, and claim that our mouths aren’t filled with perjury. God help us!

The only part of the preamble to the constitution, which is well justified, is the part that says ”To promote inter-African unity, world peace, international cooperation and understanding”…….of course  the reasons for this is not hard to seek, Nigeria, has  been a good ambassador of peace in Liberia, apartheid south-Africa, present day Libya ( etc).

Going through this piece, will make so many people, think of me as some prophet of doom, praying for  a change in the preamble to the constitution, thereby, re-invigorating the spirit of secession. Not at all, I am just this concerned citizen out there, looking for some headway, in the constitutional development of our dear nation NIGERIA. It is better to hurt something you love with the naked truth, than choosing to live in pretence, which I prefer to call cowardice.

I know not a better way of wrapping up this piece, than quoting the words of the Haitian president, Mr. Francis Duvalier, he said” federal Nigeria, has never since her independence shown the distinctive nature of a united nation, it has been impossible for her to silence tribal rivalries to achieve that mixture of ethnical/cultural blend required to forge national unity”.

If the words of this great president be true, then the preamble to our constitution, fastly needs a modification or at best an amendment.

Yungsilky is a level 300 law student of the faculty of law in one of Nigeria’s federal universities. He blogs for informationnigeria. Follow him on twitter @yung_silky