1999 constitution falls short of standard – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday said the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria failed to address some critical national questions confronting the country hence the resolve by the Legislature to amend it.

Gbajabiamila spoke in Lagos State while declaring open the public hearing on the review of the Nigerian Constitution, on Tuesday.

He said the National Assembly could only achieve the task after getting the inputs and support of the citizens.

According to Gbajabiamila: “Our constitution falls short of this standard.”

He said the reason for that was “because the 1999 Constitution is the product of a hurried national compromise that was entered into two decades ago to ensure that the military returned to the barracks and that we returned to democratic government.”

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The speaker said though the current exercise is not the first of its kind, it might be the most important one in the nation’s recent history as the decisions to be made would have far-reaching consequences for the future of Nigeria.

In response to the doubts expressed in some quarters about the exercise, the Speaker noted that there was no perfect constitution anywhere in the world, but that it was imperative for Nigeria to have a near-perfect constitution to enable the country confront and resolve many of its political, economic and socio-cultural challenges.

The Speaker, therefore, urged Nigerians to participate fully in the ongoing process so that their inputs would be captured for the country to have a new direction, adding that they could not afford to miss the opportunity of addressing their challenges and sustaining their future at this critical moment.

He assured Nigerians of the sincerity of purpose of the 9th National Assembly to deliver a reviewed constitution that everyone would be proud of.

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