The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said yesterday that despite the fact that it is is sending its own contribution to the National Assembly constitution review committee, it was not involved in canvassing for a new constitution for the country.
The ACF said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani that the failure to successfully implement the 1999 constitution and constitutional democracy in Nigeria was due to poor leadership drive in the country.
The Northern umbrella body said while reacting to plans by some ethnic nationalities and organizations to canvass for a new constitution for the country said that it is notÂ the position of the forum to seek a new constitution for the country.
The Forum said that the widespread imperfections noticed in the management of the nationâ€™s constitutional democracy have more to do with the operators than with the letters and spirit of the 1999 constitution itself.
While distancing itself from the meeting by the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and other ethnic nationalities to canvass a new constitution for the country, the ACF said that it never sent any Alhaji Yerima Shettima to represent it at any fora.
The statement said further that the Forum is poised to ensure that it contributes to the development of constitutional democracy in the country and is in the process of submitting its own memorandum to the National Assembly on the constitutional amendment process being undertaken by the legislature.
The statement also said that Shettima who was said to have represented ACF at the NADECO meeting was not a member of the Forum, adding that â€œfor the purpose of records, ACF wishes to informÂ the reading public that it does not have such position as Assistant National President in all the organs of the ACF, neither is Alhaji Yerima Shettima known to any of the Forumâ€™s national organs, BOT, NEC, and NWCâ€.
The Forum argued that it support the need for the country to have a workable constitution on â€œaccounts for ACFâ€™s involvement in any constitutional and electoral reforms aimed at improving the practices of constitutional democracy in Nigeriaâ€, noting that â€œthe Forumâ€™s contributions during the Constitutional Conference and Uwais panel on Electoral Reforms are cases in pointâ€.
The forum however cautioned the media to exercise restraint on issues involving Arewaâ€™s response to national matters, saying that â€œit is instructive for the media houses, the public and members of the Forum at all levels to know that all members of ACF have the right to hold and express opinions on matters of public interest; however when it comes to official position views on issues of national importance, the Forum has well defined channels of communication which are verifiable in its constitutionâ€.