Nigeria’s Senior Advocate, Afe Babalola, has stated that the country needs a new constitution to prevent the recycling of failed presidents.

Babalola, who was a special guest of honor at the Fifth Ife Institute of Advanced Studies’ Summer Institute Program, stated that Nigeria’s problem is the 1999 Constitution, which was imposed on us by the military when it wanted to leave power.

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He said; 

“It is my considered view that a new constitution must be in place before the next election, otherwise we will be recycling the same failed leaders that have brought Nigeria to where it is today. 

“I have said it over and over again that the problem with Nigeria is the 1999 Constitution foisted on us by the military when it wanted to exit the reigns of governance in 1999, instead of reverting to the 1963 constitution which Nigeria’s founding fathers bequeathed to us.

“After all, the military merely suspended the 1963 constitution when it seized power on January 15, 1996, it did not abolish it.”

According to Babalola, Nigeria has the world’s most premium democracy, with government officials enjoying high salaries and allowances in a country plagued by unemployment, poverty, and insecurity. He also advocated for a real federal constitution, which would bar transactional businesspeople from running for office, as well as a parliamentary government.

He said; 

“The proposed constitution will discourage politics from being the most lucrative business in Nigeria; the constitution must make provision for independent candidates to contest and win elections.

“The constitution must prevent transactional businessmen from contesting elections.”