Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), has criticised the National Assembly for devaluing the essence of the Nigerian Constitution by always subjecting it to amendments by all the sessions of the previous and current national legislatures.
HURIWA said constitution amendments is not the regular mandates of the National Assembly because the national legislature has its job cut out for it, including the massive tasks of providing oversight supervision to ministries and agencies of government, making lesser legislations to aid the government in providing good governance.
The group said the Nigerian constitution just like the USA constitution should be a tested, trusted and long lasting democratic heritage that shouldn’t be devalued unnecessary through vexatious and frequent amendments.
The group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, stated that the frequent amendments to the Nigerian constitution has remained one of the items that brought international opprobrium to the country, given that democracies worldwide did not amend their national constitutions whimsically.
It said it would be necessary that Nigeria did not make the Nigerian Constitution a money making gambit but should ensure that since she borrowed aspects of her presidential system from the USA, the constitution should stand the test of time and be timeless.
The group proposed a legislation to halt the amendments of the constitution after the on-going amendment by the 10th session of the National Assembly.
HURIWA said a provision be included in the yet-to-be amended version of the extant constitution, to stop further amendments once the ongoing amendment by the 10th session of the National Assembly is over before 2027.
It regretted that the federal parliament had from the 5th to the current 10th National Assembly made several attempts to amend some provisions of the 1999 Constitution to no avail.