There has been a lot of expensive drama involving the legislative arm of our federal government. The drama intensifies the heat and show of power between the executive and the national assembly. From senate president to EFCC handler, suspension of senators to summon of custom boss and executive officers. Thus raising the question about the Nigerian constitution, whether it is a plan or a dictatorial manual.
During the tussle, the custom boss demands to be shown a constitutional reason for wearing the office uniform. The custom boss advised the senate to consult the constitution before they take positions. It appears the constitution is seen as a dogma, or unquestionable Scripture for the organization of our society.
This brings us to the evaluation of the Nigerian constitution, whether it is a plan between the Nigerian people or a manual given to the Nigerian people.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CONSTITUTION AS A MANUAL AND AS A PLAN
1. Constitution as a manual is seen as a commandment, while as plan, is a free agreement.
2. Constitution as a manual is a testament of the decision of some experts, which is handed down to non-experts. Constitution as a plan is a testament of the agreement between all stakeholders in a partnership.
3. In constitution as a manual, the rights and duties does not flow from the user, but is given to the user to follow without questioning. In a plan, rights and duties derive from the agreement of the users. It is an expression of the users’ agreed rights and duties in a partnership
4. Constitution as a manual dictates for the user on how to live. But the users direct constitution as a plan for their common good.
EVALUATION OF NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION: a manual or a plan?
1. DOES OUR CONSTITUTION REFLECT A COMMANDMENT OR AN AGREEMENT?
it is obviously a commandment that was handed down by the colonial masters and has been reproduced with minor adjustments by subsequent governments. It still maintains the foundations of chaos for the present Nigerian society.
2. DOES IT TESTIFY the agreement between all stakeholders or the decision of just few experts?
Nigeria is said to be made up of more than 250 ethnic groups. Yet there is no account of any gathering in which the custodians of the ethnic groups agreed on how to live together. Was your father consulted on your behalf to be a Nigerian? Was your chief or king consulted on behalf of your family?
Instead based on expert instructions, the constitution nullifies all cultural practices or law that does not comply with its dictates.
3. DOES IT EXPRESS AGREED RIGHTS AND DUTIES of the ethnic groups and their citizens?
No, it expresses a generalized and almost unenforceable rights of citizens. INSTEAD, it takes away the due rights of the ethnic communities who have natural charge of the citizens.
4. DOES IT DICTATE TO US, or do we direct the constitution according to our circumstance and common good? I leave you to answer that one.
From the ongoing distinctions, it is clear that our constitution is a manual that has been handed down through coercive decrees. If it were our plan, it will not be so confusing that we would need so many interpreters. Nigerians have made attempts to forge a plan from the dictatorial manual we have now. Yet, all the attempts have not yielded any positive fruits. This is because You cannot build a good and strong house on a faulty foundation.