Buhari Forecloses Constitutional Conference, Says Constitution Amendment is NASS’ Job

By Shola Oshunkeye

Are you one of those agitating for the convening of another constitutional conference as a panacea to addressing perceived injustices against the nation’s federating units? Please, perish the thought.

In his Democracy Day broadcast, Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari, ruled out that possibility and declared matter-of-factly that it was the National Assembly’s cup of tea.

Buhari said his administration recognised “the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.

But while his government was not averse to constitution reform “as part of our nation building process”, Nigerians “must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.

“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.”

However, the President assured that his government was “willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.”

He declared: “When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.

“As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.

“However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.

“My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.”

Buhari concluded, saying: “As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.”


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