Implement constitutional reforms before 2023, group tells Buhari

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The Committee for the Goodness of Nigeria (CGN), a new political pressure group co-convened by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, former military head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto Mohammed Abubakar and Emeritus Archbishop of Abuja John Onaiyekan – has asked Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to implement constitutional reforms that will address current national challenges before the 2023 elections.

The demand was contained in a communique issued on December 15 after a two-day meeting in Abuja, where the group also asked Buhari to be more accessible to the views and opinions of Nigerians and show more empathy to the plight of citizens.

Secretary of the CGN Ahmed Magaji, who read the communique after a meeting at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, explained that Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, the Sultan and Onaiyekan decided to convene the meeting ‘out of great concerns for the general situation in the country.’

Magaji disclosed that it was agreed at the second meeting that “the process of fixing Nigeria is an urgent task that must begin now and engage the attention of all leaders and all Nigerians to prevent the situation from consuming all of us.”

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The group, at the December 14 and 15 meeting, also identified areas of constitutional amendments that must be carried out before the next elections in 2023.

The communique stated that a report of the technical committee which included the constitutional amendments proposed by the group would be forwarded to the president, the National Assembly, state governors and state houses of assembly.

The communique noted that the group’s recommendations for constitutional amendment were rooted in well-informed and innovative recommendations of previous conferences and other fora.

“We support all efforts to improve the quality of the electoral process, and other processes for the emergence of quality leadership in Nigeria,” the communique observed.

Demanding accelerated action on constitutional amendments, the group, in the communique, warned that there were serious threats to the 2023 elections “in the current state of the nation.”

“President Muhammadu Buhari should strive to be more accessible to views and opinions of Nigerians, and raise the administration’s levels of empathy and appreciation of circumstances under which citizens live.”

The group further urged the Nigerian government to examine all options towards resolving security challenges in the country, including the ‘stick and carrot’ approach.

The communique also disclosed that it was agreed that the Committee for Goodness of Nigeria should be sustained as a credible and productive platform which would afford elders and groups the opportunity to join forces to address national issues and challenges.