1999 Constitution Gave President, Governors Power Of An Emperor – Seriake Dickson

The representative of Bayelsa West in the National Assembly, Senator Seriake Dickson, has highlighted the critical need for reform in the nation’s constitution to address what he describes as a lack of sufficient accountability mechanisms for leaders.

Kelvinsblog9ja reports that the senator made this comment while speaking at a Channels Television bulletin on Friday.

Dickson, who has been in the Senate since 2020 following his tenure as the Governor of Bayelsa State, argued that the 1999 Constitution inadvertently empowered leaders at the expense of accountability.

He expressed concern over the constitution’s framing, which, according to him, elevates the President and governors to the status of ’emperors’ by failing to incorporate adequate checks and balances on the use of power.

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“The 1999 Constitution created emperors as President and governors because the drafters of the document omitted accountability in terms of the use of power by public office holders,” Dickson noted, emphasizing the urgent need for constitutional reforms that would enforce greater accountability among Nigeria’s elected officials.

The former Bayelsa governor also touched upon the contentious issue of financial autonomy for local governments, a topic that has seen considerable debate and resistance among state governors.

He attributed the obstruction of local government autonomy to the overarching power the constitution grants state leaders, underscoring the necessity for a recalibration of power dynamics within the country’s governance structure.

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There are 37 emperors because of the insufficient mechanism for accountability built into the constitution, which is what we must address. Accountability in terms of the use of power,” Dickson elaborated.

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