Nigerian Constitution and Constitutionalism Vital for Democracy and Rule of Law

The Nigerian constitution and constitutionalism are vital for democracy, but the National Christian Elders Forum calls for a new constitution in 2024 that devolves power to address ethnic concerns and challenges.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Nigerian Constitution and Constitutionalism Vital for Democracy and Rule of Law

Nigerian Constitution and Constitutionalism Vital for Democracy and Rule of Law

The Nigerian constitution and the principles of constitutionalism play a vital role in promoting democracy, good governance, the rule of law, and the protection of individual rights by limiting government power and ensuring accountability. The constitution serves as the supreme law of the land, providing the framework for the organization of the government, the protection of fundamental rights, and the distribution of powers among the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches.

Constitutionalism emphasizes adherence to the principles enshrined in the constitution, promoting the rule of law and safeguarding individual rights and liberties. Scholars like Montesquieu have contributed to developing the concept of separation of powers to limit the abuse of authority. The constitution and constitutionalism are vital for fostering political stability, upholding the rule of law, and ensuring accountability and transparency in governance in Nigeria.

Why this matters: The Nigerian constitution and constitutionalism form the bedrock of the nation's democratic system, ensuring that the government operates within legal boundaries and respects the rights of its citizens. Strengthening these principles is critical for Nigeria's progress towards a more stable, just, and prosperous society.

However, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has recently stated that Nigeria does not need an amended constitution but rather a new one. The NCEF argues that the new constitution should devolve power from the center to the federating units, enabling them to take charge of their security. They maintain that the responsibility of producing a new constitution rests on the ethnic nationalities, not the National Assembly, whose role is to make laws.

The NCEF has called on the ethnic nationalities to organize and give Nigeria a new constitution in 2024. They have also agreed that the five propositions put forward by the NINAS group, aimed at resolving the constitutional dispute in Nigeria, should receive fresh consideration by the ethnic nationalities. "Nigeria does not need an amended constitution, but rather a new constitution," the NCEF stated, emphasizing the need for a fundamental change in the nation's governing framework.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigerian constitution and constitutionalism vital for democracy, governance, rule of law.
  • Constitutionalism emphasizes adherence to constitution, separation of powers, individual rights.
  • NCEF calls for new constitution in 2024, devolving power to federating units.
  • NCEF argues National Assembly should not draft new constitution, but ethnic nationalities.
  • Debate on constitution reform continues, with implications for Nigeria's democracy and rights.