This Guest article is written by Mr. Chidera Goodnews Onyeaghala. Mr. Onyeaghala was one of the participants at our just-concluded Neoteric Governance Boot Camp 2021, Lagos, and it gives us great delight to have him guest-write this piece that touches on one of the topics covered during the Boot Camp training.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of Glory Ifezue Foundation. Glory Ifezue Foundation is not responsible and does not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in the Guest articles published on this website. The primary purpose of these Guest articles are to educate and inform and create a platform for Nigerians, as well as anyone, who have thoughts to share on policy issues affecting governance in the country.

One of the classes at the Neoteric Governance Bootcamp, Lagos organized by Glory Ifezue Foundation was titled, ‘The Constitution and what it means for Nigerians; Courts in Nigeria and where to go for help’. The presenter, God’sglory Ifezue, tried to show us how vital the constitution is, as it is the grundnorm or foundation upon which a country rests on.

It was vital to note that the entity Nigeria does not exist without a written Constitution. Then a vital question was asked, ‘does the Constitution mean anything in Nigeria today?’. That question sounded funny to me for the first few seconds. ‘We are here to learn about the Constitution. If it doesn’t mean anything, why are we here?’, I thought to myself.

The reality then dawned on me that it means little or nothing to people that feel they have the power to oppress others. The Constitution however actually states the right of every citizen and determines what the State can and cannot do. Today we see State actors arrogating unlimited powers to themselves and indirectly making the Constitution seem meaningless, and even citizens don’t know their rights and duties.

As the class continued some of the participants of the boot camp wondered if the Constitution which started by stating, ‘we the people’, was actually from we the people. This gave rise to questions like, should there be a Constitutional review, another National Conference, or a totally new Constitution? Most of us would agree that there is a problem somewhere and that takes us to the question, is the problem the people or the Constitution? Could the problem be both the people and the Constitution?

Although our Constitution might always have the need to be updated or reviewed now and again, it however still means a lot to us as Nigerians and to even non-Nigerians. This is because it affects the way we interact in business both nationally and internationally. It is also very important for electing leaders that represent the people and not selfish interests, because the Constitution should be a reflection of a society and not selfish interests.

Although I believe that a lot needs to be done about our Constitution, it is still however very important and is very powerful as it affects the way a market woman would live her life in the country as well as an oil magnate, a king as well as a President. The Constitution carries a lot of meaning and power, the best way to make it work for us as Nigerians is to vote and hold our leaders accountable.

Mr. Chidera Goodnews Onyeaghala

Chidera is a Lagos-based writer and he has a degree in Biochemistry from McPherson University. He currently volunteers for Bluvard Leadership Initiative due to his love for impacting lives. His ultimate life goal is to be the best teacher, leader, lover, and life saver he can be. He has special interest in politics, science, poetry, art, and nature. Chidera is a deep-thinker and Christian. Catch Chidera on his social media handles: IG: @goodnewsdera; Twitter: @GoodnewsDera; Facebook: Goodnews Chidera (Onyeaghala).

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