The Nigerian Constitution in 1960 Essay

1428 Words Dec 4th, 2010 6 Pages
The Nigerian Constitution in 1960
There appears to be a consensus among the rulers of Nigeria that the country's Constitution needs review. The review is, in fact, going on and there is not much I can do about that. However, if given the balance of power in the country, a review is the only constitutional development possible at this stage, I would then pay attention to the general character and form of the Constitution rather than its specific contents, which ñ with regards to the power and welfare of the common people no mere review can change appreciably. I am therefore limiting myself to the general features of the present Constitution. But let me first make some clarifications. The Constitution of a sovereign state is, in essence,
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More than 75,000 words were expended in putting together the document. By way of comparison, the Constitution of the United States of America with all its 27 or so amendments, covers 9,500 words; South Korea 13,000 words; former Soviet Union 15,000 words; China 2000; and South Africa 50,000 words. This is very interesting: China, which is 10 times the size of Nigeria in population, has a constitution three per cent the volume of that of Nigeria; the United States of America with a little more than twice the population of Nigeria has a Constitution whose volume is 13 per cent that of Nigeria; and South Africa with a third of the population of Nigeria has a Constitution two-thirds the volume of that of Nigeria. Let us attempt a partial explanation.
The American Constitution was a product of a revolution. It was the will of the victorious forces in the American Revolution. The Chinese Constitution was the product of a world historic revolution, the will of victorious revolutionary forces (1949); the South African Constitution (1996) was the product of a grand compromise between the apartheid forces, the international community and the revolutionary forces under the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC). The 1960 Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria was a compromise between the British colonial power and the ruling blocs which emerged from
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