Mr Robert Clarke
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Robert Clarke, says there is an urgent need for a total overhaul of the nation’s Constitution.
He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s weekend political show, Sunday Politics, where he warned that there might be consequences if the issue was not taken seriously.
The senior lawyer decried the level of poverty and unemployment which he said could set the nation on fire in the next few years if nothing was done.
He stressed that the crop of political elites in the country has no other option than to support a new Constitution.
“They (the elites) have no alternative and (President Muhammadu) Buhari is there, and God will give him that will.
“I am praying because, in five years’ time, I am not joking, Nigeria is going to be burning. Poverty is too much and we are not creating opportunities,” Clarke said.
He believes having a new Constitution is the right thing for the nation if it must tackle the numerous challenges facing it.
Change The Constitution
On the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government, he noted that the Buhari administration has made some progress but more needed to be done.
READ ALSO: Buhari Is Handicapped By The Nature Of Administration He Is Leading – Clarke
According to the senior advocate, the present administration has been able to close the tunnel of corruption but a new Constitution is significant to tackle the menace headlong.
He disagreed with the notion that the nation’s laws were encouraging corruption, stressing that Nigeria has a faulty Constitution.
“Restructure Nigeria, change the Constitution. Let us change the Constitution and restructure because governance in Nigeria is taking 80 per cent, that’s what the new budget has told us.
“Why should we be spending 80 per cent of our revenue on government expenses?” Clarke questioned.
“It is not the laws, the laws are made to regulate. The Constitution is the cankerworm that is eating us up in corruption.
“The Constitution we are operating upon is a corrupt Constitution; is a rotten egg,” he added while insisting that it must be “terminated”.
Slash Political Appointments
The SAN noted that former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan made efforts to review the Constitution by organising conferences while in office.
He, however, stated that both leaders never laid a foundation for any legal basis upon which the recommendations of the conferences would be implemented.
Clarke advised President Buhari not to “make the same mistake” but send a bill to the National Assembly, informing them about his intention to set up a parliament to look into restructuring and review the Constitution.
He added that the President should urge the lawmakers to pass a bill which he would assent to that whatever decision the panel arrives at would be sent to Nigerians and if approved, it would be brought back to the National Assembly for proper legislation.
The senior advocate also recommended that President Buhari should cut the cost of governance by reducing political appointments, as well as Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in the country.
Mr Robert Clarke