Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigeria urgently needs a new constitution to address many of the challenges facing the country.
He said that the new constitution would not only meet the agitation and aspiration of all Nigerians but also allay the fears of many minority groups.
The ex-president stated this at the 1st Dr. Frederick Fasehun Memorial Lecture in Lagos on Saturday.
Recall that Fasehun, who founded the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), died on December 1, 2018, aged 83.
Obasanjo said that while the National Assembly appears aware of the imminent danger facing the nation and may want to genuinely address it, it can do little about it.
According to him, the lawmakers might feel handicapped as the 1999 constitution only empowers them to amend it and not produce a new one for the country.
“The Nigerian Constitution does not give the National Assembly the power to write a new Constitution but the power to amend (an) existing one,” he stated.
Obasanjo added that “what is required is a new Constitution to meet the agitation and aspiration of all Nigerians and to allay all fears.”
Lamenting the present security challenges confronting the nation, Obasanjo said restructuring was urgently needed not to further worsen it.
“When I was elected President the agitation was true federalism but now it is restructuring.
“If we don’t address it they may go from restructuring to self-determination and this will be a serious problem.
“If Boko Haram can get external support, any group that decided to go will get support from within and outside. So we must address the issue now,” he stated.
Obasanjo disclosed that while he remained an ardent believer in Nigeria’s unity, it should not come at the expense of the freedom of the next generation.
“I will continue to fight for Nigeria’s unity until I die. But this fight is not to make my children and my race second class citizens.
“Ti owo o ba se san a ka leri ( If you can no longer swing your hand, then you put it on your head),” the ex-president noted.