By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
Renowned lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome has faulted the call by the 17 southern governors for a constitutional conference to resolve nagging issues about Nigeria, arguing that another constitutional conference was unnecessary.
Delivering the keynote address at the 25th Law Week of the Awka branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), yesterday Ozekhome observed that the recommendations of the 2014 conference, which had not been implemented, were enough to solve the country’s problems.
He said: “I was at the 2014 national conference headed by the late Justice Idris Kutigi, and the over 200 recommendations we made at that conference were yet to be touched.
“The conference consisted of 492 Nigerians drawn from all strata has never been touched by this government, even with a 10-foot pole.
“So, when I heard the 17 southern governors talking about another conference, I know they mean well for the country, but we do not need another dialogue.
“Let them go to the 2014 recommendations and they will see that we recommended state police, we recommended part-time legislature. The Constitution made the sitting of members of the national assembly six months, but they are receiving fat salaries.
“What are we doing with 306 House of Representatives members? What are we doing with 109 senators, what are we doing with them?
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“Why not make it a unicameral legislature or part-time, so that those who are genuinely interested can come and serve the nation, sit and go. We can’t grow like this”.
The chairman of the Awka branch of NBA, Mr. Ekene Okonkwo said the branch chose the theme; ‘Legal profession in a lawless society because of the current state of the country.
“The theme is occasioned by the lawlessness in the society and the killing of security operatives, which has assumed an unenviable and frightening dimension.
“We all know of the unfortunate happening in Nigeria and no one can boldly beat his chest and say he is a Nigerian, any longer.
“Through this event, we are proffering suggestions to the solution of the current state of Nigeria,” he said.