Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Niger Delta demand new constitution, true federalism before 2023

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, PANDEF, have demanded for a new constitution before the 2023 general elections.

The southern socio-political organisations demands for what they described as a “new people-oriented federal constitution”, saying that the 1999 Constitution does not represent the interest of the masses.

According to the groups, the new constitution should provide for a “true federalism that heralds a restructured Nigeria.”

The decision was reached at the Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Transition Inter-Ethnic Peace Dialogue, with theme, ‘Restructuring and 2023 Power Shift: Nigeria’s make or break factor for political survival.’

The event which was held in Abuja was attended by; over 300 delegates, including; the leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Chairman, Igbo World Assembly, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze; President, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide; a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chief Kofoworola Bucknor; and President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Jonathan Asake.

Others were Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum, Senator Emmanuel Ibok; former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife; President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr George Obiozor; convener, National Consultative Front and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba; a political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; and a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.

The communique reads, “The meeting asserts that Nigeria needs a ‘new people-oriented federal constitution’ before the 2023 general elections given that the current 1999 constitution does not represent the interests of the people.

“The meeting insists that the new constitution should provide for ‘true federalism’ that heralds a restructured Nigeria (and) calls on the Presidency to live up to its mandate of preserving lives and properties by contending with the current insecurity.

“The meeting demands the convening of an emergency ‘national conference ’ to take place in the Year 2022 to fashion out a new federal constitution on the way forward for the federating regions. The meeting agrees that the ‘2023 Presidency’ should be zoned to the South.

“We demand the amendment of the ‘Electoral Law’ to provide for electronic voting and real-time transmission of results before the 2023 general elections to provide for transparency, accountability and to allow the ‘sanctity of the ballot box’ and to reduce electorates’ voting apathy.”

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