1960 Nigerian Independence Constitution History
The 1960 Independence Nigerian Constitution was passed with the end to British rulership in Nigeria.It can rightly be viewed as the last agreement between the founding fathers,though, not unanimous, as Ahmadu Bello, Chief Awolowo,JS Tarka, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and some other didn’t agree to beneficial federal provisions from the past constitutions.
1960 Nigerian Constitution vs 1999 Constitution Major Features
The 1960 Nigerian Constitution is certainly better than the 1999 Nigerian Constitution in that it allowed for local independence; unity when necessary; division when necessary.Frankly, neither the 1999 Constitution nor the 1960 Constitution’s or ammended replica can build a Nigeria of our dreams.Respect to individuals such as Afenifere leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye who has been outspoken on the fact that no President may make a headway with the present Constitution and that the 1960 Constitution may be better for Nigeria.However, I beg to differ on this. A President who is visionary may take the 1999 Constitution to a full stretch in developing Nigeria, he/she may then realise later that the Constitution itself is faulty and that it must be changed.But to prevent this, where possible, we can make a new Constitution ahead of the next election in Nigeria or from the start of the new administration .The 1999 Constitution isn’t based on equality and puts ethnic groups (tribes) in suspicion of one another as they fear for their interests, which local independence would have preserved.The Supreme Court isn’t made fully independent of the President , and the Senate also is made relatively irresponsible to its constituencies.The 1999 Constitution may be viewed as the military’s parting gift.We need one written in democracy not before democracy, we need one written by all Nigerians.It has made the political party in federal power too powerful and less responsible as it only schemes on how to retain power and to capture power in other units.More so, it gave half of the seats to a region based on population apart from the fact of all parties are regional-based already.The 1960 Nigerian Constitution’s only benefit over the 1999 Nigerian Constitution is local autonomy.The 1960 Constitution also empowered the political class of that republic over those outside the immediate Federal Government which eventually led to political upheavals such as the 1966 coups and the Nigerian Civil War.But we shouldn’t forget that if the 1960/63 constitutions were right for Nigeria, there wouldn’t have been democratic crises.The 1960 Constitution created regional political parties.All parties were regional in outlook, yet seeking federal power.A sound Nigerian political analyst doesn’t need to look twice to know the outcome of such a country, of such a federation, that has just gotten independence.It is only politicians with positive character that would refuse to take advantage of such a faulty mechanism of the political algorithm of a federation in such case.Neither the 1960 Constitution or the 1999 Constitution can work perfectly for our federation;the earlier we get a new constitution, the faster we can save Nigeria.