Afenifere, Ohanaeze, South-South leaders demand new Constitution before 2023 polls

Some socio-cultural organisations, including Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum (MBF), and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), have urged the federal government to give the country a “new people-oriented federal Constitution” before the 2023 general elections to avert the nation’s drift towards crisis and forceful disintegration.

This is contained in the communique at the end of the “Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Transition Inter-Ethnic Peace Dialogue” held in Abuja organised by Comrade Kennedy Iyere, the convener of the Youths Off The Street Initiative (YOTSI) in collaboration with local and diaspora partners.

The event was themed: “Restructuring and 2023 power shift: Nigeria’s make or break factor for political survival”.

“The dialogue asserts that Nigeria needs a ‘New People-oriented Federal Constitution’ before 2023 General Elections given that the current 1999 Constitution does not represent the interests of the people,” the communique said.

In the communique, they also insisted that the: “New Constitution should provide for true federalism that heralds a restructured Nigeria” while also calling on the Presidency to live up to its mandate of preserving lives and properties by contending with the current insecurity.

Besides, the groups demanded the convocation of emergency National Conference to take place in the Year 2022 to fashion out a new federal constitution on the way forward for the federating regions.

They also demanded that the presidency should be zoned to the South in 2023, and the amendment of the Electoral Law to provide for electronic voting and real-time transmission of results before the 2023 general elections.

“This is to provide for transparency, accountability and to allow the sanctity of the ballot box and to reduce electorates’ voting apathy,” they added.

The event was attended by a former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani Kayode; a former Speaker of House of Representatives and Chairman, National Consultative Front (NCF), Hon Ghali Na’aba; a former Anambra State Governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife; a renown economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; a former Chairman/CEO of Pfizer West Africa and President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa; Director of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan; Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Dr. Leonard Nzenwa; and President of Association of Market Women and Men; Chief (Mrs.) Felicia Sani.

Also present were a former Women Affairs Minister, Iyom Josephine Anenih; Ex-Minister of Urban Housing and a former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; a former Governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo; a former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Chief Kofo Bucnor Akerele and a former Taraba State Deputy Governor, Dr S.D Gani among others.



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