The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria may be defective. No constitution is ever perfect. Even if we amend this one to our heart's desire, without full implementation, we will still think it's defective.
Therefore, why we wait for that perfect constitution, let's ensure a total implementation of this one both in the letters and in the spirit. I learnt early that a bad workman quarrels with his tool.
Let's take national ethics for instance. This section (23) posits that national ethics shall be Discipline, Intergrity, Dignity of Labour, Social Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-reliance and Patriotism.
Then section 24 talks about duties of every citizen which includes:
a. To abide by the constitution...
b. Help to enhance the power, prestige and good name of Nigeria...
c. To respect the dignity of other citizens and the right and legitimate interest of others and live in unity and harmony and in the spirit of common brotherhood
d. Make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well- being of the community where he resides
e. Render assistance to appripriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order
f. Declare his income honestly to appropriate and lawful agencies and pay his tax promptly
With the above, we can see that the problem is not necessarily the constitution but our attitude to the existing laws.
Therefore, while we wait for the perfect constitution, let's start practising with the imperfect constitution. Otherwise, even when the perfect comes, we will still view it with imperfect eyes.
13th April, 2019.