ETHNICITY, LACK OF POLITICAL WILL BANE OF CONSTITUTION-MAKING - EKWEREMADU
Ethnicity and lack of political will have been identified as major challenges facing constitution-making in pluralistic and developing Commonwealth societies.
The Deputy President of Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu made the submission yesterday while speaking on the topic, 'The Politics of Constitution-making: the Parliament's Role in Relation to the People' at the ongoing 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Colombo Sri-Lanka.
He said the tendency for each ethnic group to seek maximum guarantee against domination by others as well as maximum share of power often tend to downplay national interest.
Ekweremadu, who was the discussion leader for workshop, observed that 'when the political elite approach the process of constitution-making with sectional biases and short-sightedness, rather than exhibit reasoned analysis and good faith in the examination of the issues, such ethnic sentiments and provocative rhetoric only manage to envenom the polity and significantly diminish the prospects of building a consensus even on most apparently worthwhile matters.'
The lawmaker, who is also the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, said the political will to balance personal, group, ethnic and institutional interests had often proved difficult in many Commonwealth states as persons in positions of authority find it difficult to support provisions that will whittle down their extant powers or comparative advantages.