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Home News National News SNC advocates to senators: You’re ignorant, selfish

SNC advocates to senators: You’re ignorant, selfish

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From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

The Senate yesterday came under attack from the Lagos-based Pro-National Conference Organisation (PRONACO), after branding Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze, Chief Edwin Clark, and others pushing for the convening of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) as anarchists.
PRONACO also condemned the National Assembly, warning it not to incur the wrath of Nigerians, for opposing the desire of the people to give unto themselves a brand new people’s Constitution.
The SNC advocaters described the Senate as a group of “people who are defending their bogus allowances”.
The Executive Secretary of the National Summit Group, organisers of the National Dialogue which held in Lagos, Dr. Tony Uranta told Peoples Daily in Lagos that the senators’ outburst reflect their level of intelligence on the subject matter.
According to Uranta, “Those branding SNC advocators as anarchists are ignorant, and do not want the unity of the country; they are only defending their bogus salaries and allowances”.
Former presidential aspirant, Chief Olu Falae told our correspondent in a phone chat that the senators need to be enlightened on the need for a National Conference, saying “we are advocating for a people’s conference that will produce a new Constitution, which, if approved by the people of Nigeria through a referendum, the Constitution becomes legal.”
Efforts to get Professor Soyinka to react to the Senate prove abortive.
however a close source to the Noble Laureate said the Senate cannot give the people a new Constitution, adding: “We are disappointed with the Senate; the power for a new Constitution relies solely on the people, which make it Sovereign”.
Uranta, speaking on the need for SNC, said, “We need to sit together to ask ourselves the question: ‘On what basis was Nigeria formed by the British or what basis did we decide to move ahead in 1960 and 1963? What were the constitutional requirements or duties? If we had regions, did these regions have their different constitutions? Were they free to exploit their resources and pay a tax of 50% to the centre? Is there anything wrong with that? Is that not a principle of derivation. If it was right then, then why is it wrong now?’
“The people that are now supplying all the money have now been cheated out of over 37%, because if we are going by the 1960 Constitution, then the Niger Delta should receive 50% of the total revenue accruing from the resources that are derived within it. Now, these questions must be addressed and when we address them, we shall learn that every state of Nigeria is rich and we shall learn that the major problem Nigeria has is that we lack leaders with vision and  creative imagination to exploit the resources that are available to us, especially the human resources,” he said.
It will be recalled that the Senate, through its spokesperson, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe on Tuesday in Abuja, reiterated that it is  only the National Assembly that can give the Nigerian people a popular Constitution and that those calling for national conference are propagating anarchy.
PRONACO advised the Senate to take a cue from a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, who recently in Lagos asked the National Assembly not to continue to treat the Nigerian Constitution as a village’s minutes book which can be tinkered with every now and then but to urgently make a law as empowered by Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution to convene a constituent assembly conventionally responsible for giving a country a popular Constitution.
It said Nigeria is already in an emergency situation given the horrendous bloodletting and bombings in the land, which require that the National Assembly, if not for any other reason, should urgently make an emergency law under Section 9 of the Constitution for an urgent convention of a peoples’ national conference.

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