Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Ekiti State, Aare Afe Babalola, has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently convoke a sovereign national conference to avoid the imminent collapse of the country.
He warned that attempts to amend the 1999 Constitution, believed to be military-imposed, would never change it to a people’s constitution. He said only the convocation of a sovereign national conference would produce a true federal constitution akin to 1960/63 constitution.
Babalola stated this in his message to celebrate Nigeria’s 60 independence anniversary.
Babalola, after comparatively analysing what obtained in Nigeria at independence and the situation today, reached the conclusion that unless Nigerians came together in a sovereign national conference to design a constitution that would ensure peaceful co-existence of various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria as obtained in 1960/63 constitution, the country would collapse.
He cited hunger, poverty, unemployment, terrorism, politics, social class of the people and education, as some of the indices used in his comparison and concluded that Nigeria fared far better at independence in 1960 than now.
He decried Nigeria’s current rating as the poorest country in the world with over 50 per cent of its population living in extreme poverty and over seven million in urgent need of life-saving assistance, according to the European Union Parliament Resolution in January 2020. He also cited the World Poverty Clock, which on June 25, 2018, declared Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world. These data, from Babalola’s comparative analysis, sharply contrast with what obtained in 1960 when poverty level was nil.
He, therefore, came to a conclusion that whereas every Nigerian had enough to eat in 1960, the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises, ranked Nigeria among the world’s 10 hungriest countries.