From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Supo Ayokunle, on Thursday said the umbrella body over all Christian denominations and blocs in the country has thrown it’s weight behind rotational presidency across all the six geo-political zones of the nation.
Besides, he stated that democracy that Nigeria copied from the presidential system of government of the United States of America, should be practiced the way it was copied, adding that Nigeria needs a new constitution that would not promote one religion against the others in the country.
Ayokunle spoke at the 27th year anniversary of Maranatha Lords Cometh Ministry International, Abayomi, Iwo Road, Ibadan, Oyo State, where Bishop Olumakinde Alawode is the chief host.
According to him, “It is in our proposal that Nigeria should be for all. The position of the president must be rotated through the six geopolitical zones of the country. Only one zone cannot say that because they are in the majority, and they should retain the position forever because, others will feel cheated and dissatisfaction will come in. No tribe or ethnic group must because of larger population continue to have the presidency. The time for that has gone. It should be rotated so that everybody can share in the dividends of democracy.”
Speaking further on the constitution review, the CAN president, said: “We have already prepared our documents, and we have sent them to the National Assembly. But in all the places, where town hall meetings are going on for the constitution review, we have sent our chairmen, national officers, especially the legal department to go there and represent us.
“Our position is that the 1999 Constitution is long overdue because we are in the 21th Century, and the present constitution was done in 20th Century. Change is constant for us to have better society. New things are coming up and technology is also developing, so our constitution needs to be amended.”
The body, Ayokunle stated further, also backs inclusion of state police in the new constitution, saying: “We cannot be using analog police in Nigeria again because crime has gone digital to apprehend criminals. Nigerian insecurity has gone to the extent that we need to empower the governors to be able to have state police that will address peculiar state problems. This is how true federalism is being practiced in the United States, where Nigeria copied the presidential system of government.
“In the US, everything is not concentrated at the centre, as being done here in Nigeria. There are economic resources that are in each state that the state should be able to explore, but were denied by federal government. Let them be in partnership, so that part of the resources can go to the state, where the resources is domiciled
“We are also presenting that the 1999 Constitution is full of problems because it is a dual constitution. Let the constitution be western democracy if we are practicing western democracy. Mixing religion with constitution is confusing. Let there be law to guide the constitution, so that people, who want to use religion can use it in their privacy not in the constitution. If there is religious constitution, it should cater for more religions, not just only one.”
In his remarks, the President, Maranatha Lords Ministry, Bishop Olumakinde Alawode, noted that the base of the country’s socio-economic and political challenges came from lack of good leadership, adding that Nigerians have not also learnt their lessons as they have been making mistakes of not choosing the right person to be at the helms of affairs.
He, however, enjoined Nigerians to choose the right leaders for the country during 2023 general elections. A good leader, according to him, will make the nation progress positively.