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1999 constitution defective, says Bode George

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A former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has said that the constitution of Nigeria cannot take the country to its Promise Land.

The PDP chieftain said this on Tuesday while featuring as a guest speaker at the Fifth Year Lecture organised by SWAAYA Limited, publishers of Freedom Online news platform. The lecture was themed “2023-2027: Nigerians, elected leaders and expectations.”

The programme had in attendance representatives of Imo and Bayelsa states governors. Also present was a former minister of police affairs, Navy Cpt. Omoniyi Olubolade (retd.), and former Managing Director of Daily Times, High Chief Tola Adeniyi.

The president, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba and president, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, Maureen Chigbo, played chief hosts. The Aare Onakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, was also represented at the event.

Speaking during the event held at Function Suite, Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, Bode noted that the Nigerian constitution “is military in setting” and needed to be reviewed.

Bode said, “Having served that long in the military, I can authoritatively confirm to you that the Nigerian constitution is absolutely military in setting. In the military, orders come from top to bottom.  But in a democratic dispensation, powers come from the people (bottom) to the top. But we have copied the American constitution, that’s why things are not working. We must be deceiving ourselves if we think that this constitution will take us to the promise land.”

The PDP chieftain also stressed on the idea of state policing, noting that it would be a very effective way of securing the country.

Also speaking, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Duoye Diri, who was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabra,

said the lecture put a spotlight on the intention and capacity of politicians in the next four years.

On his part, the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, noted that politicians did not always intend to fail but some circumstances often act as a stumbling block,

In his speech, delivered by Emelumba, Governor Uzodimma said, “Let me make something clear. I don’t think there is any politician who deliberately goes into office with the intention to fail. Instead, circumstances and other variables sometimes constitute themselves into a stumbling block on the path of performance.”

Another thing is that there are different parameters for the measurement of performance between members of the Executive arm and those in the legislative.”