A pan-Yoruba political association, Afenifere Renewal Group has described Senate President, David Mark as a man who has no regards for Nigerians.
The group was reacting to a statement credited to President of the Senate, Mr. David Mark that agitation for Sovereign National Conference (SNC) is not feasible. Mark spoke at the Nigerian Bar Association Conference but the group pointed out that, such a statement is provocative and derogatory. A statement signed by Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo explained that Mark’s statement that Nigerians have ratified the constitution through their conducts and therefore have barred the need to subject constitutional amendment process to referendum as uncalled for.
“We found this statement as an assault to peace-loving Nigerians, which have always bent over backwards to accommodate deepening levels of bad leadership in the country. We equally found Mark’s statement as an indirect confrontation on Nigerians to show their denunciation of 1999 Constitution through their conduct. In a nation that is still grappling with the scourge of extremists and insurgents, this statement is no less a malfeasance. That Nigerians have been peacefully advocating SNC should not be misinterpreted as a ratification of the 1999 Constitution and Mark should not deem this as an acceptance of the institution he heads,” the group said.
The group said the National Assembly has no excuse for not subjecting its constitution amendment process to referendum because such has been held even in countries like Norway where it is not constitutionally recognised.
“Why is the National Assembly afraid of referendum if not because it is afraid that many of its activities are perceived as illegal in the minds of Nigerians?” the group queried.
According to the group by saying SNC is not possible under 1999 Constitution, he has “condemned 170 million Nigerians, even the generations yet unborn, to the provisions of 1999 Constitution, thereby concluding that Nigerians are made for the law.
“This is an indication of Mark’s degrading opinion of Nigerians who deserve better from him as the custodian of the nation’s democratic institution. Sovereignty belongs to the ethnic nations that constitute Nigeria and it is in politicians’ interest that a Sovereign National Conference be convoked to chart a new constitution that will properly transfer this sovereignty to democratic structures. Only then can there be lasting peace, progress, development, and freedom for all in Nigeria.
“To continue to put it off is to reinforce the growing perception that there is a ruling elite controlling Nigerian economy to the deprivation of the masses. Such perception never ends in comics and it pays to do things right when we are all still smiling. Nigeria is negotiable,” the group said.