Home » Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Criticizes National Assembly for Ignoring Constitution, Fixed High Salary For Themselves

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Criticizes National Assembly for Ignoring Constitution, Fixed High Salary For Themselves

by Olufemi Awoyinka
Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, expressed his dissatisfaction on Monday with the National Assembly, accusing them of disregarding the constitution when it conflicted with their personal interests. He specifically alleged that lawmakers were not adhering to the recommendations of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission regarding their salaries, which should be determined based on the country’s constitution.

During a lecture titled “The Future of Constitutional Democracy in Nigeria: Imperative of a New Constitutional Order,” held in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, Obasanjo accused the lawmakers of undermining the country’s democracy through their actions. The lecture was part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the call to the bar of legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN).

Obasanjo emphasized that those responsible for operationalizing, managing, and advancing the constitution and democracy were often the ones who undermined it. He pointed out that according to the constitution, the emoluments of elected officials should be determined by the revenue mobilization commission. However, the lawmakers had disregarded this provision and enacted laws to establish their own emoluments.

Obasanjo said, “The point in Nigeria which I have seen and which I can attest to is most of the people who are supposed to be operationalizing or managing and seeing the constitution and democracy move forward, they are actually the ones who undermine the constitution.

“All elected people, by our constitution, their emolument is supposed to be fixed by the revenue mobilization commission, but our lawmakers set that aside and they make laws and put any emolument for themselves.

“Even if that is constitutional, it is not moral and, of course, it is neither constitutional nor moral.”

He further emphasized that even if such actions were considered constitutional, they were neither moral nor justifiable. Obasanjo warned against a situation where the constitution is continuously violated in this manner, as it undermines the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

The former President emphasized that for citizens to truly enjoy democracy, it was crucial for all stakeholders to respect and implement the constitution to the letter. He argued that democracy loses its meaning for individuals who suffer from hunger, live in constant danger, or have their property destroyed due to the actions of those in power.

Obasanjo’s remarks shed light on the importance of upholding the constitution and ensuring that lawmakers act in accordance with its provisions. He said, “Democracy doesn’t mean anything to any man who is hungry, whose life is in danger, or whose property is being destroyed.” Nigeria can strengthen its democracy and create an environment where the rights and welfare of its citizens are protected.

You may also like

Update Required Flash plugin