A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, said on Friday Nigeria was in dire need of a new constitution to address its numerous challenges.
Anyaoku, who made the call in his 2023 Convocation Lecture at the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, said a new constitution was the way forward for Nigeria to check the ongoing deterioration of the situation in the country.
He argued that the country’s diversity was properly managed by the leaders in its early years of independence.
The ex-Commonwealth scribe, however, lamented that the January 15, 1966 military coup destroyed the country’s unity.
He stressed that there was a security of lives and properties as well as a faster pace of economic development in the country before the military disruption of the constitutional order.
Anyaoku said: “It is an undeniable fact that Nigeria’s diversity was more successfully managed in the early years of our country’s independence. During that period, Nigeria’s diversity was perceived by all as a source of strength and inspiration for national unity.
“I call on the Presidency in consultation with the National Assembly, instead of continuing to tinker with the 1999 Constitution, to acknowledge the urgent necessity of a new Constitution to be made by the people of Nigeria. To this end, I invite the Federal Government to immediately embark on the following practical steps.
“First, convene a National Constituent Assembly directly elected on a non-party basis representatives whose task would be to discuss and agree to a new Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”