By Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKIâ€”Even with calls for the implementation of the Justice Uwais report on electoral reform, the Chairman Senate Committee on Works, Senator Julius Ucha has said that the present 2006 Electoral Act in operation is not completely insufficient.
Ucha, a former Speaker of Ebonyi state House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003, further said that the issue of the amendment of the constitution is not what Nigerians should expect to be ready on or before the 2011general elections.
On the electoral reform Ucha said, â€œthe present Electoral Act was the basis upon which 2007 election was organised and it was successful. So, one cannot say that it is insufficient.
We cannot have a sufficient law otherwise the constitution would have been a sufficient document even when it stipulated almost everything to the level of how you can get married; almost everything is there. But there are also flaws in the constitution becauseÂ they are the product of human endeavour and no product of human endeavour is perfect.â€
Senator Ucha who spoke to Vanguard in Abakaliki, further said, â€œthe mistake we make in the process of constitution amendment is trying to take the amendment holistically. You will be writing a new constitution, if we insist on that, rather it should be alteration. That is what Section 9 said. It is alteration, it is not total amendment.
You can take a particular provision and alter it if you feel it is antithetical to societal norms or the process upon which democracy can grow or is militating against smooth running of democratic process. Our problem actually is not the constitution; our problem is a social problem. Every family is a community of people, every family is a mini Nigeria and if we quantify ourselves in terms of patriotism to our father land, each of us becomes a constitution but today, every Nigerian is a suspect.”
â€œEvery Nigerian is suspecting one another, patriotism is an alien word. This is a federal problem which had created confusion in our system and I feel very strongly it is not the amendment of the constitution that can solve the social problem.
Each and every one of us is guilty of lack of patriotism and that is a fundamental issue, we should be patriotic as Nigerians. It is not compulsory that constitutional amendment when undertaken must be completed by a certain legislature, it is an on-going process that when it begins, the legislature can put in place an act of parliament that this process we have begun can be concluded along the line.
â€œSo, when you just say that it must begin now, it must end tomorrow, I think it is only God that determines an issue in that nature. But we are making frantic efforts to ensure that certain provisions are altered to conform to basic principles of our societal livesâ€, he added.