The human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, on Tuesday, in Lagos, picked hole in the claim by the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) that the 2019 Presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is a Cameroonian (and not Nigerian) and therefore not qualified to run for the office, was not sincere in its claim.
He said should the party was not sincere in such claim, it shouldn’t have celebrated that it defeated Atiku in his base in Adamawa during the election.
“Because the implication of such celebration is to say that the Cameroonians were the ones who voted for you,” he reasoned.
Falana made the remark at a public presentation of “Minority Report and Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1976” which was held at the University of Lagos(UNILAG), Akoka, on Tuesday.
He was the reviewer of the 43- year- old and 107-page report which is co-authored by the two prominent social critics, Dr Olusegun Osoba and Late Yusufu Bala Usman and published by the Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training, Zaria.
Falana who said it was disheartening that the Obasanjo administration as a military head of state(1976-1979) refused to accept the Minority Report now being launched 43 years after, rather the report of the majority was decreed into the 1979 Constitution, the basic content of which has formed the nucleus of the subsequent constitutions including the Decree 24 of 1999 otherwise called the 1999 Constitution.
Açcording to him, Nigeria could possibly have avoided the current obstacles to genuine democracy and sustainable human development if some of the questions posed and the answers provided by Osoba and Usman in their unambiguously progressive Report and Draft of 1976 had been considered.
Giving examples, he said the much touted “Not Too Young to Run campaign” is not a new thing in Nigeria as the Minority Report had recommended 30 years old for those contesting for presidency and governorship offices 43 years ago.
In their separate speeches, the Presidents, Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Mr Ayuba Waba; Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi and former Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, among others said Nigeria must have to do away with the existing order in which the political-economic system of the country has been polarised into two distinctive groups, which they called the bourgeois class and the commoners.
They said the manner by which this could be done is already captured by the minority report, noting that except this is done, the richer would continue to be richer and the poorer be poorer.
They said the restructuring that many politicians are clamouring for is the one that will favour them as regards how to better share power and the wealth of the country and not how the majority of Nigerians would be out of extreme poverty.
ASUU president, for example, said Nigerians should reject totally the reintroduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme and the International Monetary Fund loan by the Federal Government, saying accepting such would further impoverished majority of Nigerians.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune