Nigeria needs new people’s constitution not amendment, says Olanipekun

By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti

Erudite lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has said only a brand new constitution can address the myriad of challenges bedeviling Nigeria and not an amendment of the operational 1999 Constitution.

Olanipekun regretted that the 1999 legal framework is not adequately enough to handle Nigeria peculiarities.

The eminent lawyer noted that what the country needs is a people-oriented constitution that will recognise its diversity as the present one was foisted on Nigerians by the military.

Olanipekun spoke yesterday in Ikere-Ekiti during the presentation of scholarship to 143 students and launching of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation to empower youths and the less-privileged in Ekiti State.

The 1999 Constitution, he said, breeds corrupt practices and impunity in governance; hence, it should be dumped for a more robust one that will suit the uniqueness of the country.

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“The news is everywhere and the propaganda has gone haywire that the National Assembly is amending the Constitution, as if what the Constitution needs is an amendment rather than a total overhaul, starting from the preamble to the definition schedule.

“All arms of government and government structures have to be redefined, resituated and re-strategised for a new Nigeria, which will bring about unity and faith, peace and progress,” he said.

The lawyer said the EndSARS protests, which nearly brought the nation to its knees, was a microcosm of the danger that would consume the nation, if the country is not restructured.

He regretted that two police stations were razed in his Ikere-Ekiti country home during the crisis, thereby putting policing system in jeopardy due to tactical withdrawal of the police from the community.

Olanipekun said: “Whatever might have been the outcome of EndSARS protest, the bitter takeaway there is that we must honestly, sincerely, dispassionately, unpretentiously take step to reawaken and rehabilitate Nigeria.

“The bitterness among ethnic nationalities is so deep, and we need genuine reconciliation and restructuring of the polity. That small sore has become cancerous and we need a radical surgery to extract it.”