NWABUEZE, SAGAY, OTHERS RENEW CALL FOR NATIONAL CONFAB
By GBENGA OKE
LAGOS - Eminent Nigerians under the auspices of National Coalition of Progressive Force led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, yesterday, converged on Lagos, to renew the call for a Sovereign National Conference.
The group maintained that the next stage of the demand will be to march to Abuja and deliver a copy of Referendum bill to Mr President and National Assembly.
The group argued that revolution was imminent if the President and National Assembly refused to co-operate and make themselves part of the process.
Present at the event were Prof.Nwabueze, Prof Itse Sagay, Dr. Tunji Braithwhaite, Prof. Pat Utomi, Mrs Ganiat Fawehinmi, Dr. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Mrs Fatai- Wiliams, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Ankio Briggs, Prof. Onasanya, Dr Kunle Olajide, Dr Awosika, Yerima Shettima and Dr Lateef Adegbite.
Chairman of the group, Prof Nwabueze, said: 'The time for making statements is over, it is time for action and part of our action is to let Nigerians see reasons what a Sovereign National Conference is out to achieve.
'The whole process is to save Nigeria from the brink of collapse and we strongly believe that SNC will save this country from collapse.'
Reacting to a statement by the Senate spokesperson, that the National Assembly will not re-write the constitution and that a body will be employed to do so, Nwabueze said, 'Sen Abaribe was re-affirming his position that the National Assembly is the authority with the exclusive power to amend the Constitution or re-write it if necessary or call on an expert body to help do a thorough job and by implication deny the people of Nigeria the opportunity of taking part in whom the sovereignty of the country resides.
'By the virtue thereof, Sen. Abaribe is saying that the constituent power and the ultimate lawmaker, who are the masses have no role in the review or re-writing of the constitution and by the unshakeable posture he had taken on the matter challenging the sovereign people of Nigeria to a contest of power.
Controversy on SNC is non-issue
'The National Assembly being servant of and subordinate to the Sovereign People has no power or mandate derived from the election of its members by the people, to re-write the constitution. The mandate conferred on them by their election is to govern according to the system of government and the structure of powers and relationship established by the constitution, making only such amendments not touching on fundamentals as might be necessary.
'The controversy on SNC is thus non-issue, which should not be allowed to undermine the solidarity of the movement, the movement needs to stay together for its effectiveness and success in achieving its objectives.'
Prof. Sagay on his part said, there had been so much power at the centre and it was time Nigeria devolve power to the states.
He said: 'We are waiting for the government to say no, then we will overrun them through the sovereign power in the people of Nigeria and make a case at the International Law Court at The Hague.
'Government has been in bad hands and my suggestion is that we should devolve power to zones and states because that is the only way majority of problems in Nigeria can be tackled.'