Review Constitution to reflect changing times - Dr Alidu

BY: Albert K. Salia
Dr Seidu Alidu
Dr Seidu Alidu

A political scientist, Dr Seidu Alidu, has made a strong case for the 1992 Constitution to be holistically reviewed to reflect current democratic trends.

The changes, he argued, would also meet the needs and aspirations of the people.

“First of all, the Constitution is drafted to serve the needs of the people and address their challenges and aspirations,” he stated in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday.

Justification

Dr Alidu said considering the powers vested in the President of the Republic, it was important that the Constitution was reviewed to devolve more powers to the people.

He cited, for instance, the appointment of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), the Inspector General of Police, the chairperson of the Electoral Commission and other public officers which should be taken away from the President.

According to him, the overwhelming powers of the President in appointing public officers needed to be reviewed.

Dr Alidu noted, for instance, that almost nine months into the administration of the President, MMDCEs had not been appointed because that power was vested in the President.

He was of the view that if that power of appointment of MMDCEs was vested in the people, that problem would have been resolved by now.

He said when the 1992 Constitution was drafted, no provision was made for the use of biometrics in elections.

Dr Alidu said with the current changes to our electoral reforms, it was important that the requisite amendments were made to reflect the changing times.

Background

There have been calls by political activists for a review of the 1992 Constitution to reflect the current democratic dispensation.

Some proponents are calling for a review to deal with the dichotomy between the Executive and the Legislative, where majority of ministers were expected to be nominated from Parliament, the emoluments and end of service benefits for Article 71 holders, the continuation of projects initiated by previous regimes as well as appointment of persons holding dual citizenship among other things.