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Constitution review: Catholic group wants elected officials accountable – Punch Newspapers

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A cross-section of parliamentarians during the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday (8/10/20). Photo: NAN
The Justice, Development and Peace Initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti has advocated a Nigerian constitution that will make elected officials accountable to the people.
JDPI Director, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Akingbade and his Assistant, Rev. Sr Agatha Ogbuagu, said that a major fault with the 1999 Constitution was the absence of any provision that made the country’s elected representatives accountable to the electorate.
The duo, who spoke at a sensitization programme in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, said JDPI had been carrying out regular enlightenment campaigns to sensitize the people of their rights, stressing that people needed to be aware of their rights before they could internalize them.
Akingbade, who aligned with the position of Nigerians seeking a new constitution, said, “What Nigeria needs is an entirely new constitution. Amendment cannot remove the unjust structure in the constitution especially those being enjoined by the key players such as the members of the Assemblies.

“For example, there is no provision whatsoever in our constitution to the effect that our representatives should be accountable to the people that have elected them as obtainable in other countries,” he said.
The Catholic priest also said the creation of new local council development areas in Ekiti State was a welcome development, saying, “It will bring government closer to the people like it has done with the creation of Ekiti State from old Ondo State”.
Also speaking, Rev Sis Ogbuagu, who lamented the level of ignorance of most Nigerians about their rights, appealed to Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders to intensify more efforts in creating human rights awareness in the country as well as supporting the citizens to internalize the rights and demanding recognition and respect of same.


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She also harped on the need for aggressive enlightenment and sensitization as people were often afraid of reporting cases due to the aftermath stigmatization as she canvassed empowerment of gender-based violence victims for them to be independent of their abusers.
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