A former minister of petroleum resources, Tam David-West, says the ongoing changes to the 1999 constitution by the national assembly are mere proposals and not amendments.
David-West said the efforts of the lawmakers would be fruitless if they failed to follow the legal path in the review process.
“The senate cannot in Abuja alter the constitution. So, all that they are doing is nothing more than proposal to change”, David-West told Sun.
“We have to go to the fundamentals. Constitution is not sacrosanct. Constitution can be reviewed, and that is why every constitution has provision on how to review it.
“How to alter provisions of the constitution is clearly written there. So, whatever the senate is doing, to me right now, is just a proposal. So, being a sacred fundamental document of the state, to alter it cannot just be like a play thing.
“Every constitution gives very stringent conditions, so even if I accept that constitution can be changed with time, provisions can be changed with time, but even after saying that, I feel sorry for Nigeria.
“I will like to believe that the senators read the constitution because as a lawmaker, you must have read your constitution.
“If a senator does not read the constitution, it’s like saying a Christian does not read the Bible or a Muslim does not read the Quran.
“I’m not saying that some of the provisions they are making are not good.
“However, as good as it is, if it is 100 per cent good, and you don’t follow the legal way to change it, it is null and void. Good intention done in an illegal way is nullity. It does not mean anything. You must follow the right way.
“I know that they have met speakers of 36 states houses of assembly. But meeting the speakers is not the same thing as a whole house of assembly.
“The leadership of the national assembly had met the speakers, but the houses of assembly could as well throw out the bills. So, it is immaterial whether the national assembly has met with the speakers or not. They should follow the constitution.”