24 April 2019

Nigeria: 43 Years After, Centre Presents Minority Report of 1976 Draft Constitution

Barely 43 years after, the Centre for Democratic Development Research and Training (CEDDERT), Zaria, yesterday officially presented the minority report on the 1976 Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1976.

It would be recalled that the minority report which was drafted 43 years ago by Dr Segun Osoba and Yusuf Bala- Usman was opposed to some of the recommendations of the 47 others who were also members of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

Speaking yesterday, the Director, CEDDERT, Dr Abubakar Siddique Muhammed said the crisis the country is currently going through would have been minimised if the Minority report had been adopted.

According to him, the minority report had in 1976 foresaw the crisis and had also warned against widening inequality, increasing level of lawlessness among the armed forces, judiciary, police and political leaders.

Muhammed also stated further that the minority report had warned against increasing corruption and huge amount of money used to participate in elections.

He said, "42 years ago, Dr Yusuf Bala uUsman and Dr Segun Osoba disagreed with members of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) on the issue of fundament human right, social justice. What were the disagreement according to them, people have the right to education, health and security etc and if you don't make them Justiceable in the constitution we will have leaders who will pay lip service to them and the citizenry can't take them to Court and all that they said are happening now in Nigeria."

The Director of the centre who also stated that the minority report had called for citizenry of a country in the stead of citizen of a state which had led to lot of bloodshed in the country.

Also speaking, a Human right activist and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has said that if the Minority Report & Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1976, had been listened to, anomalies, impunities and blood bath in the Nigerian system would have been averted.

Falana who was the book review disclosed this at the public presentation of the Minority Report of the 1976 draft constitution.

The Lawyer who went down memory lane to explain what led to the report explained that it was part of the initial steps towards the transition to civil rule in 1975.

According to him, the regime of General Murtala Mohammed gave a committee of 49 eminent Nigerians the job of producing a draft constitution for the Second Republic, which was scheduled to begin on October 1, 1979.

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