Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has stated that Nigeria needs a new constitution and not an amendment to accommodate emerging issues of good governance and greater interest of Nigerians.
Okowa, who stated this on Wednesday when the Senate Sub-Committee on review of the 1999 Constitution visited him at the Government House, Asaba, said a new constitution for the country had become imperative in view of observed lacunas in the 1999 Constitution.
He said, “There is no doubt that there is still a lot to work on in our Constitution to have a near-perfect document, and I know that the National Assembly has continued over time, to cause some of the amendments to be.
“But, I also wished that some persons from other zones actually had the opportunity to come down here to hear the voices of our people directly because sometimes we do not understand the extent of the pains that people of the Niger Delta truly suffer in our nation.
“We believe in one Federation; we believe in the unity of Nigeria, but we will continue to ask for very strong equity in our Federation as a people and I know that the people will really voice out their opinion at the public hearing.
“We know that some amendments were made recently but on a general note, we are also aware that the Constitution itself appears to have just been hurriedly put up just before the 1999 elections and handed over.”
Earlier, Senator James Manager had said that the Committee which comprised Senators from Edo, Bayelsa and Delta were in the state to conduct a two-day public hearing on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
He said that aside from the Spiritual Books, the Constitution was the most important book for any country.
“The amendment of the Constitution is not what can be done by the National Assembly alone, but it involves states’ Houses of Assembly and other stakeholders,” he said.