Why 1999 constitution should be replaced – Sagay


The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has said the 1999 Constitution should be scrapped and replaced with the 1963 Republican Constitution as the country’s constitution.

Speaking while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme, Sagay said adopting the 1963 Republican would address all agitations in the country at the moment.

“If we had that, with amendments here and there to make it accommodate states rather than regions which we used to have, I think all these agitations will die down and everybody will be happy,” he said.

According to him, “My own personal preference is that we should scrap this Constitution and adopt the 1963 Republican Constitution. That Constitution contained everything that is being agitated for now. If we had that, if we adopted it, with amendments here and there, to make it accommodate states that we have now rather than region, I think all these agitations will die down and everybody will be happy.”

When asked whether the President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has the wherewithal to make that happen, Sagay said, “I really don’t know but his party headed by him commissioned the (Kaduna State Governor, Nasir) El-Nasir Committee to work on the issue of federalism and they have came out with an excellent document and all we need to do is to implement them. And if they are to be implemented as I said, it will be probably be implemented in a totally new constitution instead of trying to amend the existing one.”

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“I am personally disappointed that that excellent document is being allowed to gather dust and I think the leaders of the party should now bring it out and go to the President and say, we should now make a move to implement what we ourselves commissioned and have approved because that is what the whole country wants now,” he added.

The PACAC Chairman also said what Nigeria has now is a unitary constitution and not a federal constitution.

“What we have now is a unitary constitution parading itself as a federal constitution,” he stressed, adding that Nigeria needs a clear departure from the existing document.