Adebanjo to NASS: “How can we be reviewing the constitution we don’t believe in?”
Elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo has mocked the National Assembly over its moves to amend the 1999 Constitution.
Adebanjo said that constitution review without restructuring of the federation was an exercise in futility.
The Afenifere leader’s position aligns with that of the Yoruba Summit Group (YSG) and Northern Elders Forum (NEF), which described the exercise as a waste of time and the nation’s scarce financial resources.
The nonagenarian explained that Yoruba people were not keen on the 2023 presidency but instead preferred a restructured Nigeria.
He described the present attempt at constitution review as “diversionary”, noting that the National Assembly cannot review the constitution because it is a product of the same constitution being condemned.
Adebanjo said, “How can we be reviewing the constitution we don’t believe in? You review something you have done before to amend it.
“But this one needs a surgical operation. I may not oppose this one, if only we can arrive at the same point. But I don’t believe in it. I believe they just want to keep us talking till another election and I don’t believe in any election in this country until this constitution is reviewed.
“While they will like to keep us talking, we will not waste time with it. We will give them what they want. If they can do it within three weeks, it is okay. Inasmuch as we arrive at the same destination, it is okay with me.
“But I don’t trust them. Everybody believes the constitution is not working. Why can they set up a committee to take a review of the previous recommendations and sieve it within three or four months?
“The review they are talking about is a time-wasting procedure, it is a diversion. If they want to do it, let them complete it within three months and then we move forward. My position is that this assembly cannot review the constitution because the assembly itself is a product of the constitution we are condemning.
“So, they can’t be in a position to review it. But if they mean well, they can do it in a way the people want. Whatever method they want to use, just get us back to true federalism. The question of electoral law, the question of population, the question of revenue allocation, are all embedded in the issue of restructuring.
“So, if they are sincere about it, they should go to the recommendations we had made before and get on with it. Any other way, I believe, is time-wasting. There is no sincerity in it.”