Restructuring: Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Clamour for the Adoption of 1963 Constitution

Restructuring is no longer an option for Nigeria; it has become a necessity. Looking at restructuring, Nigerian leaders appear to feel nostalgic about the past and want the 1963 constitution back as a way to right the political wrongs in Nigeria.

The Southern and Middle Belt Elders Forum (SMBLF), yesterday, reiterated its demand for Nigeria’s restructuring. Led by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, the group also called for President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor to come from the southern part of the country in 2023.

Clark said: “The 1999 Constitution (as amended) is a unitary constitution clothed in federal robes. That is what we have been fighting against. We are running a unitary form of government where the Nigerian President is the most powerful President in the world. We want a restructuring of this country.

“Let’s go back to the 1963 Constitution. If the amendment is to be made, it should be amended. What the National Assembly has been doing is fraudulent. Five years now and five times, they have been spending N1 billion every time.

“Nothing will come out of it. We want a new brand constitution based on the 1963 Constitution. We have no confidence in any amendment. What are you amending? You want to create a new person whom God did not provide for?”

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He continued: “Nigeria should be restructured into a federal system of government. President Buhari said if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. Then I say we must restructure Nigeria and if we do not restructure, Nigeria will die.”

On power shift, the former minister said: “The south should be ready to have the next President. Without that, no Nigeria. We want the zoning to continue. It is conventional. Zoning is not part of our 1999 Constitution or our party constitution, but it has been an accepted convention that would keep this country together.

“So, if you don’t zone the presidency, we are going nowhere. Presidency must go to the south so that they can decide who to pick and we would look at ourselves.”

What do you think of Clark’s words? Do you think we need a constitution like the 1963 constitution ?

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