The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu yesterday took President Muhammadu Buhari to cleaners in his appointment of Service Chiefs saying that even if there is no Federal Character principle in the Constitution, the country’s history dictates that such appointments ought to reflect the diversity of the country.
According to him, a country that has undergone all the traumas Nigeria passed through should be careful to carry every section along instead of the recent appointments “made so far by the current administration that were so clearly lop-sided that it left the South East totally empty-handed.
“I think in this country that is just recovering from a most divisive and bitter fought presidential election in its history; in a country where vicious civil war has been fought and scares are fresh; in a country where a presidential election believed to have been won by a part of the country was annulled; in a country which has deteriorated from one that citizens held high political and civil service offices outside their places of origin to one in which they hardly do so anymore; and indeed in a country where there has been consistent outbreaks of militancy and restiveness by people who believe they have been shortchanged, maltreated, and, therefore, better off outside the Nigerian commonwealth, I firmly believe from the depth of my heart and conscience that you do not even need a soothsayer or compulsion of the Constitution to know that you must necessarily carry every part of the country along.”
These were contained in the text of a lecture titled: ‘The Politics of Constitution Review in the Multi-Ethnic Society’ organized by the Faculty of Law, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Speaking on the topic, Ekweremadu said that it became imperative to review the nation’s constitution on grounds of ambiguity and failure to make provisions for some critical matters of state.
He noted that difficulties in amending the constitution was caused by mutual suspicion of the elite as “mutual ethno-sectional and religious suspicions have become so ingrained in our body polity that even the most patriotic and altruistic intentions are almost always interpreted from myopic prisms of such sentiments and interests”.
In his opening remarks, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the United States of America, Professor George Obiozor said it was a fallacy to say that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.
This, because according to him, Nigeria has failed to learn the lessons of history.
“The reality over the years remains that in spite of the best efforts of all our leaders past or present, Nigerian unity is not guaranteed. It is simply at best, an aspiration and not yet an achievement”.
Obiozor advised that if the country is to realize its potentials, it must face reality, “stop the syndrome of self- delusion about Nigerian historical exceptionality. Today, if the truth must be told, our diversity has turned into disorder and our democracy into an invitation to incremental anarchy”.
He said the intrusion of the military into politics had not helped matters as it “divided the country into many lines, particularly the lines of ethnic origin, religion and region”.
According to Obiazor, the 2015 presidential election revealed that the country ”remains divided in spite of the nation’s claims and pretenses of national unity”.
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku said the lecture is the type organized by the departments and faculties with a view to broadening and deepening knowledge as well interrogating topical national issues aimed at generating ideas and throwing up alternative approaches of addressing identified societal challenges.
The acting Dean, Faculty of Law of the University, Prof. Godwin Okeke said the lecture aims at creating public awareness on the politics of constitution making which involves the contribution of the public.
According to Okeke, the scope of the lecture is deliberately narrowed so that it can be of benefit to the immediate environment.

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