1999 constitution must be scrapped before 2023 election–Afenifere

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Yourba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has vowed that there would be no general elections in 2023 unless the 1999 constitution is scrapped and a new one which includes fiscal federalism is agreed on by Nigerians.

Speaking on Arise TV programme, leader of the organisation, Ayo Adebanjo, said the 1999 constitution is skewed to favour a section of the country and was responsible for the agitations for secession by some separatist groups in southern Nigeria.

He said the constitution was written by the military and not what the founding fathers of the country agreed to at independence. He said  unless it is scrapped, the country would not make any form of progress.

He described President Muhammadu Buhari as a civilian dictator who is not interested in listening to the voice of the people and at the same time has not presented a credible alternative to the problems bedeviling the country.

“What we have is a fraudulent constitution. It is not the constitution the founding fathers of the country agreed to at independence. This 1960 constitution guaranteed us resource control, state police and all the agitation causing crises in the country today was settled in the former constitution.

“The problem Nigeria has is the 1999 constitution that skewed everything against the South. It is a fraudulent and unacceptable constitution because it was not made by the people, it was made by the military and this assertion was repeated by the late Rotimi Williams. It is a Sovereign National Conference we are asking for, which was attempted in 2014, but Buhari has refused to do and that is causing the problems we are having in the country. That is why some people who feel cheated say they want to get out of Nigeria.

“We are not going to do another election or be in this country where a section of the country would dictate who the president of the country would be. That is why we don’t believe in any election now until the 1999 constitution is scrapped and a new one is agreed to with the principle of federalism strictly observed. We are not interested in any election because any election is a diversion with all the confusion in the country. Our security, economy, education and everything is bad. We don’t believe in having any election until the question of the country is settled. How can an elected president say that he would not listen to what the people are saying and that he must continue with a constitution we say we don’t want? That is why I said we are living under a civilian dictatorship,” Adebanjo said.

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