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Current National Assembly Cannot Restructure Nigeria’ - Utomi

As the debate for restructuring of the Nigerian federation continues amid condemnations for the Senate’s loss of an opportunity, penultimate week, to accept devolution of powers to the states, public affairs analyst and professor of political economy, Pat Utomi, has said that the National Assembly, as presently constituted, is not in the best position to amend the constitution to reflect the wishes of majority of Nigerians.

Utomi who spoke at a public lecture organized by Evangelical Christian Union Alumni Fellowship, with the theme: ‘Towards 2019: Setting the Stage,’ blamed National Assembly for some of the problems the country is currently facing. The professor also noted that the only reason why the lawmakers are not agitating for restructuring like other Nigerians is because it might rob them of what they consider their share in the oil wealth of the nation.

According to him, “There is this huge fallacy that the National Assembly is the only constituted body that can make for us a new constitution but they do not have that right, because the law on which the Assembly is based is not constitutional because it lied and said “We, the people” whereas it was not the people that made it. Moreover, how can you ask somebody to change something that brought him about? The National Assembly is an interested party. One of the biggest problems we have today is the legislature, so how can the problem resolve the problem. So, constitutional reform has to take us back to a Constituent Assembly representing the people of Nigeria, which will say, “We, the people” and put it in the referendum.” He said.

 

“The lawmakers are not supporting because there are many people who believe that they are entitled to a share of oil money and restructuring means taking away their share or the quantum of the share they get from oil and I find that so incredibly ridiculous because of the outcome of ignorance that is involved. “Nigeria has a wasting asset in oil, I mean drilling it every day, in the next 30 years there would be no oil to drill economically. Just recently, most part of the world is now demanding for vehicles that do not depend on oil,” he added. Utomi also called for a change in the political system saying that the current arrangement does not give politicians the means to adequately address the needs of the people.

Photo Credit: 
smedigest.com.ng

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