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Published On: Wed, Apr 9th, 2014

Our attitude, not constitution is the problem, says retired Justice Aliyu

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Retired Justice Adamu who represents Taraba state at the National Conference has said that he sees nothing wrong with the 1999 constitution except the poor attitude of those that have implemented its contents. He made his views known when he spoke with Patrick Andrew at the National Judicial Institute, venue of the confab.

Here at the confab, the preponderance of comments is that there is nothing wrong in the present constitution except poor implementation. As a retired judge, how true is this?

Well if you really listened to what they are saying, there is nothing wrong with the constitution except the way and manner it is being implemented and you even heard one of the former governors saying somebody told him constitution my foot.

So, it is therefore a Herculean task ahead of us. We have to respect the constitution. The constitution is the book we are going to rely upon, it’s the book we are going to respect because all we are doing here- our recommendation is to be compressed into the amended constitution and if we comply with the constitution, that is adhere to it, I think we are going to have an problem.

Our main problem in Nigeria is lack of adherence to the provisions of the constitution. Sincerely speaking, there is nothing wrong with the constitution, but our failure to implement the constitution is simply attitudinal factors which have given us no little problem. If we can change our attitude and abide by the rule of law, I think there will be much problem.

You have seen it in the mood of conferees; now we are so unanimous, so united and our ideas are so sown together and it is very interesting and that’s how it is supposed to be. But the problem is those to implement the constitution. If they will abide by the rule of law, implement the constitution, I don’t think the younger generation will complain against us the older generations, and we shall have only minor problems.

There was also the issue of autonomy for local governments, what is your comment on that?

But we have not reached that stage yet. Now, we are debating the President’s address, the issue of local government autonomy will come under the committee’s discussion. So, I am not competent for now to speak on the subject.

Whatever provisions there are in the constitution for local government will be exhaustively discussed at the committee levels after we must have concluded deliberations on the president’s inaugural speech.


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