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Ekwueme blames constitution lapses on military

By Chidi Nkwopara

ENUGU—SECOND Republic Vice President and member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, says the constitutional conference of 1994 and 1995 would have laid to rest, the nagging issue of political power distribution in the country, just as he blamed the defects in the 1999 constitution on the military elite.

Ekwueme spoke at his Oko country home in Orumba Local Government Area, when leaders of Anambra North Senatorial zone led by the governorship candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Chief Mike Okoye, paid him a courtesy visit.

He recalled how the march to enthrone a durable and popular constitution floundered with the Abacha junta, adding that the 24 man committee set up by General Abdulsalam Abubakar after the meeting with the G34 did not continue for some reasons.

The elder-statesman disclosed that the constitution framed in 1995, dwelt on the core of the agitation for power rotation,  pointing out that the constitutional conference accepted his recommendation for a single five year term for Governors and Presidents and rotation of political power among the various senatorial zones and geopolitical zones of the states and the nation.

“The idea was that every part of the country and state should have a shot at the Presidency and Governorship to give them a sense of belonging. But Abacha and other military officers edited the drafted constitution to suit their whims. In October 1998, he held a meeting with the G34 to fashion the way forward. A 24-man committee was set up to draft the way forward,” he added saying that Anthony Mogbo and Professor Ben Nwabueze were part of the constitution drafting team.


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