1999 constitution remains cornerstone of Nigeria’s problem – Robert Clarke

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke, has described the 1999 Constitution as the cornerstone of the nation’s problems.

Clarke stated this on Tuesday while reacting to the truce reached as President Bola Tinubu once again intervened in the Rivers State crisis.

“The 1999 constitution is the cornerstone of our problems. In every area of political line, especially in the area of election, when the constitution restricts those who can come and be voted for, or who can vote for, something must be wrong with that constitution. The problem today is not what the President says,” he said while answering questions on Arise TV’s Good Morning Show.

He faulted the demolition of the state House of Assembly complex by the Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

“Why should a governor bring a caterpillar and bring down the state House of Assembly? Does that show sanity and you voted for such a person?,” he questioned.

When asked if the President has a constitutional role in solving sub-national matters, the SAN disclosed that Tinubu has no constitutional role in the matter.

“The constitutional role of the President in all these fracas, there should have been none. The only time the constitution allowed the Federal Government to put its mouth was during the First Republic,” he stated.

Clarke called for the amendment of the Constitution.

“All that we are running after today is power and money. Those two elements, where do you get them in Nigeria? They are only from politics.

“If you count down governors who have served in Nigeria since 2000, ask them to come show us their bank account, you will be shocked.

“We have to ask ourselves, is politics in Nigeria only meant for politicians? Why can’t people like us contest an election without joining a political party? Why do we need a political party? This is the problem we have in Nigeria today,” Clarke expressed.

He suggested three areas in the constitution that need amendment. The three areas, according to him are: Local government; election; who can belong to a party and why should a party be the dominant factor in elections in Nigeria.

“Once you do the three areas in Nigeria today, I can assure you, you won’t hear about any court cases. This country will move forward,” he articulated.

The PUNCH reports the political crisis in Rivers state may have ceased as parties reached a truce on Monday night.

This followed about three hours of the talks at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, between President Bola Tinubu, Rivers Governor, Mr Siminalayi Fubara; his Deputy, Mrs Ngozi Odu; a former governor of the State, Peter Odili and the immediate past governor now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesome Wike, and other stakeholders.

According to an eight-point resolution signed at the end of the meeting on Monday night, the President directed that all lawsuits instituted in the courts by Fubara and his team regarding the political crisis in Rivers State be withdrawn immediately.

The resolution was signed by  Fubara; his deputy, Ordu; Wike;  Ribadu; factional Speaker of the Rivers State Assembly, Martin Amaewhule;  Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Aaron Chukwuemeka, and his All Progressives Congress Chairman, Tony Okocha.

According to the directive, Fubara was mandated to re-present the 2024 appropriation bill he had earlier presented to the four-member state House of Assembly to the full House.

Also, the directive read that all impeachment proceedings initiated by the Rivers Assembly against Fubara should be dropped immediately.


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