Outline And Discuss The Defects Of 1999 Constitution Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria

Abstract
Constitution is a very important document for every state or organization, is a body of law put together for the governance of the state, the 1999 constitution is the grundnorm of the Nigerian state, aside it are other relevant laws but they must be in agreement with the provisions of the constitution, so when there defects in such a document the result can be grave, there are many defects in the 1999 constitution, we will be discussing some of the major defects in this article.

  1. Centralization Of Police
  2. Centralization Of Resources
  3. Land Reforms And State Creation
  4. Electoral System

Centralization Of Police: The law which set up Nigeria Police in Section 214[1] states ‘There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provision of section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof.” this section put policing only in hand of the federal government, and also in the Exclusive Legislative List Schedule II at number 45. Police and other security services established by law is listed. making it exclusively the business of federal government.

This main reason policing in Nigeria has become impossible, their is no way from one command in Abuja they control police in Ihiala or Diobu and is effective, somebody from Sokoto who never been in Eastern Nigeria before, who does not understand Igbo language, will posted as a DPO in Onitsha and you expect him to deliver, the level of kidnaping on our highways, rural areas and cities is alarming, armed robbery, theft, rape and other crimes has become the order of the day.

On the street of major cities in Nigeria from time to time we see cult boys moving in group harassing and snatching valuables from responsible citizens without any challenge, even when they are arrested few days later they are out, because they re some unseen hands in high places baking them up, because the Governors are not control of the police they tend to find ways to still exert control over some of their interests, the cult boys are the tools some of the Governors uses for election and sometimes for state revenue drive.

Every crime is local, and it takes the local people to fight it effectively, in our environment we know who is who, we know who does what, we know when a new face comes around, that is why anytime a serious Vigilante group is formed within a short while crime is flushed out of the place, take the case ”Bakasi” as an instance and so many other instances.

Centralization Of Resources : The right to ownership and control of natural resources under the Nigerian law is constitutional. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) section 44 (3) and item 39 Schedule II of the Exclusive Legislative List vests the control and management of the natural resources and hydrocarbon operations on the federal government, and then they created ”Revenue Allocation Formula” under the behest of the Federal government where they give monthly allocation to the states…

And this have renders many of the state governors lazy, most of them now and wait for the monthly allocation, and manner of sharing depict injustice, which is why there’s so much anger and so many agitations in almost all the regions in this country today, one region will provide 90% of the resources another will get more share of it, the injustices and imbalance has been on for a long time now, and awareness to the situation is growing and that is why Nigeria is not moving forward like other nations of the world.

Conclusion : There re many other defects of the 1999 constitution as amended, like the issue ”Land Ownership” where the natives are stripped of the ownership of their ancestral land, and the ownership vested on the state governors… How the constitution legalized The 36 States unfairly created with decree under the successive military regimes, where they gerrymandered Nigeria territory to suit for the domination of a particular region in Nigeria.

Another thing is ”Electoral System” can you imagine that the states cannot decide who becomes their governor, cannot decides who represents them at the various national assembly seats, because in the constitution, ”in the schedule II item num. 22 in the Exclusive Legislative List” the constitution vested the exclusive right to the federal government to conduct elections into all the constitutionally backed offices in Nigeria, except the local government election which is left for governors to conduct.

And so many other defects, I hereby opined that the solution to all these ills and the suffering of Nigerians is to jettison this constitution and make a new peoples constitution which will accommodate the aspirations of Nigerians and chart a new course the country.

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