Following a National Constitution Dialogue hosted by a think-thank group known as The Patriots, stakeholders have recommended the adoption of the 2014 National Confab Report and 1963 Republican Constitution as platforms for deliberations of a new Constitution, noting that the illegitimacy of the 1999 Constitution.

This was contained in a communique signed by the General Secretary of The Patriots, Olawale Okunniyi, on Sunday.

Stakeholders at the event also resolved that the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and its brand of the presidential system of government, had fostered a “politics of alienation and increasing appetite for state capture”, which had led to disenchantment across the country, adding that the Constitution lacked legitimacy that could not be acquired from amendments

“The national dialogue concluded that: the prevailing 1999 Constitution and its brand of presidential system fosters politics of alienation and increasing appetite for state capture amongst the ruling elite to the exclusion of a large section of Nigerian citizens; leading to disenchantment across the country, while also asserting that the constitution, by its flawed origin, lacks legitimacy, which it cannot acquire from any number of amendments.

“The dialogue also affirmed that the draft Constitution of the 2014 National Conference and the 1963 Republican Constitution of Nigeria, by their representative and popular character, are generally acceptable national documents as platforms for popular deliberations and consensual recommendations towards birthing a new democratic people’s constitution for Nigeria through an elective Constituents Assembly or national referendum to be initiated by the Federal Government through relevant provisions of the extant laws of Nigeria”, the communique read.

The Dialogue also suggested a genuine commitment to ending political impunity, reforming the security infrastructure through the creation of state police, and the reconfiguration of the country’s governance system and structure to address the imbalance in the existing federalism, among other suggestions.

It added, “There is a need for a genuine commitment to ending the culture of political impunity which engenders corruption, promotes monetisation of politics and undermines competence and commitment to patriotism; urgent holistic appraisal of the security situation in Nigeria to engender decisive and robust intervention in the pervasive insecurity ravaging the country; reform of existing security infrastructure through the creation of state police and localisation of police command structure to enhance inclusive participation in community and neighbourhood security across Nigeria.

“There is also a need for the reconfiguration of the country’s governance system and structure to address the imbalance in the existing federalism to guarantee fiscal responsibility and accountability in governance as well as enhance accelerated development across Nigeria; strengthening of existing democratic institutions to safeguard democracy, guarantee pro-people governance and make political actors accountable to the people; and deepening of democracy and governance at the grassroots to give a sense of belonging to the mass of Nigerian stakeholders”.

The Patriots also resolved to set up an inclusive team to “embark on strategic and constructive engagements with the Nigerian peoples and citizens, the Presidency and National Assembly of Nigeria for their full buy-in and support towards achieving the dialogue agenda for the cohesion, stability, good governance and prosperity of Nigeria under a new democratic people’s constitution of Nigeria”.