By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—Renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, yesterday, in his ancestral home Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state, said the only solution to the numerous problem facing Nigeria was the convocation of a national conference of ethnic nationalities, setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission and the restructuring of the federal system.
He also said that the country should adopt a new constitution through a referendum as had been done in other countries of the world, for it to move forward.
Prof. Nwabueze spoke during his 85th birthday celebration and his book presentation, entitled, ‘The National Question and Corruption.’
He said “although the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration convoked a national conference, but that is not the national conference I am suggesting. It is the one that will involve ethnic nationalities, where we have to sit down and tell ourselves the truth.
“We have to sit down and tell ourselves the truth, it is only when we sit down and look at ourselves and tell ourselves the truth, and it is only when we do that that we can move forward as a country.”
He regretted that Igbo have suffered the consequences of not convoking restructuring of the federal system and not convoking a national conference of ethnic nationalities, adding that Igbo had been marginalized in Nigeria that they can no longer express their full potentials.
The book reviewer, Prof. Charles Ilegbune in his speech said that Prof Nwabueze is nationally African, and globally acclaimed thorough bred law academician and intellectual.
“He is an oracle, a progidy, an iroko, indeed a wizard, a star and a wonder-man in the discipline of law and especially in constitutional law exposition and application.
“When Prof. Nwabueze writes or speaks in that area, the issue is definitely settled and any contrary view may well perch as an aberration or heresy. Prof. Nwabueze is indeed Nigerian Socrates, for a person in the frame of Prof. Nwabueze, it is not surprising that his writing and speaking enterprise radiate to all corners of the globe that have even the most tenuous connection with constitutional law.
“As of this date, precisely for the past 53 years, since 1963, Prof Nwabueze has written and published a total of 32 books, all sole authored, including two in multiple volumes. His books share a common and abiding characteristics of being authoritative popular and incomparable, and there are no two Nwabuezes as yet in Nigeria in the discipline of law and academics.
“I must here publicly acknowledge with pride and thanks that his very first two books, The Machinery of Justice in Nigeria and Constitutional Law of the Nigeria Republic, both respectively published in 1963 and 1964 were the books that ushered me into my law studies at the then University of Ife when I entered the university and provided me with the solid foundation that lubricated and assured my easy and unassailed progression to the end.”
He said that Prof. Nwabueze seems to have been motivated to write his new book by the strong and abiding patriotic concern for the unity, stability and prosperity of Nigeria. He indicated this in the opening words of his preface to the book.
Some of the Nigerians that graced the occasion were Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state, former Governor Peter Obi, Chief Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Prof Elochukwu Amuchazi, Prof Emeka Ike, Chief Simon Okeke, Chief George Obiozo, and several others.