By Hassan Haruna Ginsau
The chairman of the committee on politics and government at the National conference, Professor Jerry Gana has said the immunity clause in Nigeria’s constitution must be removed in order to ensure good governance.
Talking to the media on the committee’s developments after its session yesterday, Gana said they had taken a very important decision on the immunity clause,” we believe that to promote this anti-corruption, to ensure that we have the rule of law, and for all those who are in governance to rule well, and act in accordance with the rules, we must not protect anybody. So the immunity clause we believe should be expunged from the constitution so that if you are elected, if you do what is wrong, you face the law and people will behave better,” said Gana.
He went on to say that those who govern should be the first to obey the law, “we’ve looked at a number of areas of the constitution that will require an amendment, but we argued that whether we have a new constitution would depend on the nature and volume of the changes that the conference intends to make.”
He added that if the committee was making some radical changes, definitely there will be a new constitution, noting that that will be one of the final things they will debate because issues are being discussed in other parts of the conference.
What is in addition that needs to be done according to him, is to ensure that Nigerians can enjoy good governance on a sustainable basis, in other words, can there be a new model for Nigerian good governance? He queried.
He said the committee had received recommendations from five out of the six subcommittees, with only that of good governance and democratisation reaming.” We’ve taken reports on mechanisms for a more participatory, inclusive democracy, that of national ethics, anti-corruption measures, freedom of information, the role of traditional rulers within the governance of the federal republic of Nigeria, the only one left is on minority rights and ethnic nationalities, because the strength of any chain is that of the weakest link. So any society that does not take care of the weak members is a very weak society indeed,” said Gana.
Other key decisions taken by the committee so far relate to matters ensuring that those who are elected to govern govern effectively with accountability, with deliverance of service, and how leaders are raised and elected within society.