By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- THE Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, has demanded for a fresh Nigeria constitution that would be adopted for operation before the February 2019 general elections.
The Leaders said the new constitution before election became paramount since every election conducted in Nigeria were faulty and disputed due to the many irregularities associated with the military-drafted constitution.
In a communique made available in Enugu on Tuesday, ILT leader, Prof. Ben Nwabueze said there was a general rejection of the 1999 constitution because it was drawn by people who were not acceptable to the people.
Nwabueze said that at July 27, 2018 plenary meeting of ILT, the group expressed disappointment that the issue of national question to which it has called attention for years since the Goodluck Jonathan administration has not been attended to.
“The Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, calls for immediate setting up of a Constituent Assembly to prepare a new constitution before 2019 elections,” Nwabueze said in the communique he signed.
The group also spoke on the fight against corruption which it noted was a major programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, regretting however, that evidence available indicates selective prosecution of political opponents.
Nwabueze said “The Igbo Leaders of Thought feels that the solution to corruption is to resolve political corruption which includes nepotism, appointment on basis of religious faith, protection of loyalists who are known to be mainfestly corrupt, expenditure of public funds without budgeting. ILT strongly condenms the government selective approach to the fight against corruption.”
On impunity and abuse of power, the group said it views with dismay the use of instruments of the state to pursue ethno-religous and political goals.
“The police, the EFCC, etc, appear to be serving as political thugs. This is unacceptable and government should call these agencies to order. This disobedience to the ruling of courts which the Attorney General and Minister for Justice seems to expose is not acceptable in a democracy,” it lampooned.
The group also called for de-proscription of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPoB, noting that organisations such as herdsmen that carry arms unlike IPoB have not been proscribed.
On the state of economy, ILT regretted that India which used to be judged as poorest nation with seven times population of Nigeria has now relegated the position to Nigeria, noting that “poverty is a system of dysfunctional state.”