Citizens Governance Network, CGN, has said there was need to subject the ongoing constitutional review process to a referendum of acceptance by Nigerians to confer legitimacy on the constitution.
In a statement, CGN argued that the current process is skewed in favour of those in government for the review to reflect the aspirations and consensus derivable from the broad section of Nigerian citizens adding that “it cannot lead to an output that can transform the controversial and wasteful system currently in practice.”
While noting that members of the National and state assemblies were elected by Nigerians through delegated sovereignty, the group submitted that “full sovereignty resides in the people permanently and legislators, no matter how high-minded, could not be expected to preside over the termination of their own previleges. And because legislators are agents of the people, who are their principal, they cannot claim to represent the people better than they can represent themselves.”
The group explained that a referendum at the end of the constitutional process would enhance the quality and legitimacy of the final document as “the fundamental law of the land rather than detract from it,” the body said adding that it would then truly be the constitution of ‘We the people’. and not ‘We the agents or representatives of the people.”