By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, Oct. 1, 2020 A non-govermental organisation, the National Consultative Front (NCFront), on Thursday said that Nigeria needs an actionable development plan and new constitution that would reflect the aspirations of the citizens.
The NCFront Head of Publicity, Mr Tanko Yunusa, gave the advice in Abuja while reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on Nigeria at 60 independence celebration.
Yunusa, who described Buhari’s speech as well written, coordinated and well delivered, said it was, however, a repeat of what was known to Nigerians.
He said that going forward there was need for Buhari to support his speech with actions.
“For example, Mr president mentioned that Nigerians have capacity for peaceful coexistence. This has been misused over the years where there is a total neglect against the people.
“There is difference between having a well written speech and to deliver it with actionable plan.
“What Nigerians are asking for is actionable plan that Mr President can put this in motion.
“We need a new constitution. The agitation by the people has been that we need a new constitution that reflects the yearnings and aspirations of every Nigerian, including the unborn babies.
“We need a Nigeria, a country, which everybody believes in,” Yunusa said.
He also advised Mr President to use his second tenure to get Nigeria a new and more realistic constitution, saying it had been agreed in the majority quarters that we need a new constitution usable for all.
“So, Mr President has opportunity within his second and last tenure to quickly look at the constitutional conference that were done over the years, some of the committees of elders that have been agitating.
“Let them workout constitution that is acceptable.”
Yunusa said that because of the time frame and in order not to waste money, the National Assembly should use the opportunity of the planned constitution review to provide Nigeria with new constitution befitting to the citizens.
Yunusa said that he also agreed with Buhari that the problems with Nigeria’s electoral process were “mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office”.
He said that what happened in the Edo State Governorship election showed that Nigerians had the capacity to do the right thing.
“Look at what we have in Edo; at least 70 per cent of the people are happy with the election because the will of the people really triumphed.
“Even they were given money to vote for an individual, they collected the money and voted their choice and that is how election should be.”
He stressed the need for sanction to be metted to those trying to bribe their way to gain power, while those who work for the people should be appreciated through the vote of the people.
“Those who have messed up the people must be punished by not giving them the opportunity to lead.
“We must give kudos to Prof. Mahmmod Yakub-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for trying to give Nigeria the best elections within its capacity.
“Take a look at what they put in place in regard to COVID-19 and how they managed the election to ensure that they used new technology innovations of Z-pads and online election viewing portal.
“That helped to secure election results as declared at the polling units.”
Yunusa stressed the need for electoral reform that would stipulated sanction for cross carpeting politicians.
He called for the unbundling of INEC to allow it to face the conduct of elections while another agency should take care of electoral offenders.