“Tinubu, Akande, Osoba Missed Chance to Rewrite 1999 Constitution, Says Adebanjo”

Pa Ayo Adebanjo, an Afenifere chieftain, criticized President Bola Tinubu and other South-West governors for missing the chance to rewrite Nigeria’s constitution in 1999 when democracy returned to the country.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television, Adebanjo expressed disappointment that Tinubu and his counterparts did not push for a new constitution when they had the opportunity. He noted that they were too afraid to demand a people’s constitution at that time.

Tinubu served as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. Adebanjo mentioned that Tinubu was one of the six South-West governors who did not push for a Sovereign National Conference when the military government, led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, was transitioning power to democracy after Sani Abacha’s death.

However, Adebanjo believes Tinubu, now as Nigeria’s President, has a chance to correct this mistake by rewriting the 1999 Constitution. He emphasized the need for Nigerians to have a say in the constitution that governs their lives, rather than the “military-imposed constitution” that has been in place for 24 years.

A new constitution, according to Adebanjo, would address issues like insecurity and could include provisions for state police. He explained that a Sovereign National Conference was demanded before the 1999 election, but unfortunately, it did not materialize.

Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-political group, initially refused to participate in discussions with the Abdulsalami Abubakar regime. However, they later agreed to take part in the 1999 election with assurances of a Sovereign National Conference afterward.

Adebanjo expressed regret over the actions of past South-West governors, including Bola Tinubu, accusing them of selling out and disappointing the Nigerian people. He highlighted that all six state assemblies in the South-West supported a Sovereign National Conference, but the governors did not follow through.

He criticized the centralized nature of Nigeria’s policing system, suggesting that state police could better address insecurity if implemented. Adebanjo argued that the current system, modeled after Britain and the United States, has not been effective in curbing insecurity.

In conclusion, Adebanjo emphasized the urgent need for a new constitution, citing the failure of past promises and the desire for tangible action. He believes that until Nigerians come together to agree on the terms of coexistence, peace will remain elusive.

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