Sunday, March 7, 2021
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This discourse opens with comments by two eminent reputable statesmen whose views are considered very weighty enough to draw attention. Inviting attention to these comments is a way of getting the appropriate officials to act over the issues highlighted and also sensitize Nigerians on the importance of conducting themselves lawfully and patriotically in public and national interest for our nation to be able to further entrench democratic ideals. And this piece is considered auspicious at a period when signals indicate that elites and political leaders are already up in arms against one another to the detriment of the masses, as a result of upcoming contest for political offices. One of the issues is about election the mindsets of Nigerians are not only largely negative; they are also largely irrational. The second observation by a legal luminary and elder statesman, Chief Richard Akinjide SAN states that: You will see that the problem of Nigeria is not the constitution, it is just the people. Based on these two concerns shared by two important Nigerians, TERRIFIC HEADLINES today examines the history of constitutional developments in Nigeria, with a view to enlightening the governed on the need to conduct themselves responsibly and with civility, before, during and after the coming elections. Lord Lugard commenced governance of Nigeria in 1914, through a unitary form, although the countrys first experiment with a unitary constitution did not come until 1946, with the operation of the Richards Constitution. Independent Nigeria adopted Parliamentary system of Government, fashioned after that of Britain. In adopting the Parliamentary system, the Colonial Secretary, having considered the deep realities of the situation arising from the Constitutional Conference of 1954, wrote in his diary If Nigeria was to be a nation, it must be a federation with a few subjects reserved for the Central Government as would preserve national unity. (From: Lord Chandos, Memoirs quoted in Mackintosh, op. cit., p.27) Historical accounts indicate that some items were drawn up to be on the Exclusive List of powers exercised by the federal government and a substantial part on the concurrent list was to be administered by the regions. In 1979, we switched over to the Presidential system, imported wholesale from the United States. From the Lugard Constitution of 1914, the nationalists dialogued over the Clifford Constitution of 1922, the Richards Constitution of 1946, the Macpherson Constitution of 1951, and the Independence Constitution of 1960, that was…

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