Something Is Wrong With Our Constitution

Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed

Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed

By: Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed

From the historical lineage, most (if not all) laws of our dear Nigeria is traceable to Britain as a result of her colonial legacy according to Sampson Obeng when going through the memory lane in his book, “Introduction To The Nigerian Legal System”. Hence the whole gamut of written documents that made up of our codified constitution are full to the brim with archaic jargons. It is not amazing when new wigs perchance with his first appearance in the temple of justice bamboozles his learned counsel who might have spent a decade in practice. A no wonder it is that the country is catapulted also into the bondage of pool of countries like the super-power America or flirtatious India and the likes where the Almighty Britain has planted her judicial rope known as the common law system.

Scrutinizing the 1999 Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution (2018 as lastly amended), it is stated in the pellucid term that in Section 131 that: “A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if –
(a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; (b) he has attained the age of forty years; (c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and (d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent”. It is on this note that I wish to pen this article but I will make also a digression to the epoch of Aremu Baba Iyabo’s administration in Nigeria to posit well my points. If all what is codified in the book of law that we call constitution is right, I put it to you that the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) is wrong on this line. An err? It was all as a result of their inadequate consultation. It is this same thing that foiled all the colonial constitutions ordained over us, the malady has been herited. A limp legacy!

Let us start here. Gerontocracy is said to be a rule by elders; specifically : a form of social organization in which a group of old men or a council of elders dominates or exercises control (apologia Merriam Webster). It is a system of government in which those who rule are senescent figures. From the standpoint of facts, the political quagmire in the country today is brought about by these octogenarians who still munch the mantle of leadership as though they are morsels of iyan (pounded yam).

Is it Boda ‘Sanjo, the obstinate IBB, Yar’Adua or Egbon Buhari? Name it! As J. G. Cozzens says, such men need the indoctrination of the worst way and that what the exact garb that they put on now. It is a chic dernie cri that one can’t even why photo jounos have not done stories on it. The unco of it is that even those who are lobbying for presidential seats have imitated this style and it has been a monthly routine. If Jagaban was not in London today for medical check-up, he would be in America tomorrow to look after his business. The diss should not be for them though, it is the Constitution. Something is wrong with it. A sagacious aphorism from the Oyinbo (white) man has it that a doofus at forty is a fool forever.

The youths can do it and if you are surrounded with any atmosphere of doubt, the question is have you ever tried them? The youths have been hollering that they can do it since a decade ago. Give them a trial and if they don’t hack well, get the saw back from them. Let us use the youths who are fresh in his thinking faculty and has a prototype certificate of education. Do you forget the spurious story of “na rat wey eat my results”? Set àwōn Pandora Papers!

In 1976 when Obasanjo became the Head of State of Nigeria as a result of the untimely demise of Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed who was brutally assassinated on a gloomy Friday (February 13th, a day to Valentine) by Lt. Col. Buka Sumka Dimka; the first thing that Olusegun Obasanjo did in term of responsible accountability and commerce promotion is to make an official government policy that government in all tiers must must use and divert to Nigerian-made cars. To reinforce this, he took a Peugeot 504 as his official car.

The complementary results of this move is that the flames of fortune for Peugeot Automotive Nigeria (PAN) and Volkswagen of Nigeria (VON) blazes like the sight of a lark in a beautiful morn as they were the two car assembly plants that soared in the country as at then. Ample job opportunities were on ground then as our economy left its low ebb pose for a prosperous stance. It is woebegone that Obasanjo forgot to revive this plan when he was eventually democratically elected in 1999. What is the relics of Operation Feed The Nation, Green Revolution or WAI? Their tunes are heard on the distant hills for they have died! Should we now say that it is the malaise of gerontocracy that ruin us?

About The Writer
Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed is the National Correspondent for Track News Nigeria, Abuja and Chief Editor of Scholar Media Africa Magazine in Kenya. Taoheed writes from Northwest where he studies Law at Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto State, he could be reached via

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