Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Wednesday said Nigeria needed a new Constitution, not amendment to accommodate emerging issues of good governance and greater interest of Nigerians.
Okowa stated this when he received on courtesy visit, the Senate Sub-Committee on review of the 1999 Constitution led by Senator James Manager at Government House, Asaba.
He said that a new Constitution for the country had become imperative in view of observed lacunas in the 1999 Constitution and called for the insertion of a clause to allow for the re-writing of the Constitution while it would continue to be in operation until a new one was ready.
“There is no doubt that there is still a lot to work on in our Constitution to have a near perfect document, and I know that the National Assembly has continued over time, to cause some of the amendments to be.
“I thank God that those sent here are familiar with the zone; so, when the people truly speak they would understand.
“But, I also wished that some persons from other zones actually had the opportunity to come down here to hear the voices of our people directly because sometimes we do not understand the extent of the pains that people of the Niger Delta truly suffer in our nation.
“We believe in one Federation; we believe in the unity of Nigeria, but we will continue to ask for very strong equity in our Federation as a people and I know that the people will really voice out their opinion at the public hearing.
“We know that some amendments were made recently but on a general note, we are also aware that the Constitution itself appears to have just been hurriedly put up just before the 1999 elections and handed over.
Earlier, Senator Manager had said that the Committee which comprised Senators from Edo, Bayelsa and Delta were in the state to conduct a two-day public hearing on the amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
He said that aside the Spiritual Books, the Constitution was the most important book for any country.
Manager restated that Southern Senators had endorsed all the resolutions made by the Southern Governors in the “Asaba Declaration’’ of May 11.