The ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution, if handles with due diligence, is capable of dousing the tension among Nigerians of different ethno- religious backgrounds.
The President of Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), Prof Hassan Salihu expressed this view in a statement in Ilorin, Kwara State on Sunday.
For this to be achieved, Salihu harped on the need for the National Assembly to be transparent, honest and follow the law in carrying out the task of Constitution amendment.
He equally asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to hesitate in signing the document when the process is concluded and reflects the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
While urging Nigerians to play their part in bringing about amendments to the constitution that can promote more unity in the country, NPSA president admonished the politicians and all Nigerians to refrain from making public statements that can inflame passions and capable of jeopardizing the on-going efforts at amending the 1999 Constitution.
“Let us all give the attempt our best as it is a major and critical step in the country’s democratic journey,” he counseled.
Salihu added: “Our Association believes that the exercise, if handled with due diligence, has the potential of dousing the tension among Nigerians on the future of their country. For this to be achieved, the National Assembly is enjoined to be transparent, honest and follow the law in carrying out the task of amending the constitution.
“Due process must not only be followed but it must be seen by the citizens to characterize all the stages involved, including the reports of public hearings that will go to the two chambers of the National Assembly for further legislative actions. The President too should not hesitate to give his assent when the process is concluded and it reflects the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“The current effort marks a significant milestone in the history of amendments to the 1999 Constitution. Unlike the previous attempts, the on-going process is taking place at a time Nigeria is faced with a myriad of problems ranging from insecurity, not-too- healthy economic climate, agitations for restructuring to unsettling external relations.
“This unhealthy climate calls for painstaking efforts on the part of the National Assembly that is midwifing the process of constitutional review. Views of the generality of Nigerians as expressed must therefore be seen to be the guiding principle. The NPSA calls on more Nigerians to give the on-going process the attention it deserves by participating actively in the exercise.”