Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has called for a new Nigerian constitution.
Ikpeazu made the call at the 5th Osasu Show Symposium where he delivered a lecture, on Monday.
The programme with the theme: ‘State of The Nation, The People’s Constitution’, held at the International Conference Center in Abuja.
Governor Ikpeazu stated that the new Constitution will restructure the country and devolve more powers to the federating units, entrench resource control by the states.
He also stated that the new Constitution will establish federal, state, and local government police formations and be more responsive to the protection of the rights of all citizens, as well as provide a level playing field where all Nigerians will be treated equally.
The governor stated that the major fundamental flaw of the present constitution is that it lacks the ownership of the people which is a key ingredient that clothes Constitutions with the requisite legitimacy.
The governor stated that the road to a proper constitution involves processes such as constitutional conferences, referenda, Acts of parliament, Judicial precedents, customs of the people, conventions, etc.
Drawing inference from constitutions of the US, Argentina, South Africa, Tanzania, etc, the governor added what we currently have is a constitution “handed down by military fiat complete with all the nuances of totalitarianism with a very powerful President, Governors and even Local Government Chairmen across the country”.
“This military mindset is the reason for unduly concentrating powers on the federal government in areas where it ordinarily has no business with.
“This needless concentration of powers in the federal government especially in the areas of security, revenue generation and allocation, resource control has stifled growth in the states and local governments, making them parasitic appendages of a powerful federal government.
“A situation where states look forward to monthly receipts from Abuja has killed hard work and initiatives, recalling the first Republic when the regions thrived well when they were quasi-independent,” he said.