Amending section 131(D) of the 1999 Constitution; a road map to responsible, purposeful, accountable and competent governance in Nigeria -By Enoch Samson Peri

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Education is a light that illuminates the heart and mind of anyone who has it. It enables a man to think critically and make sound decisions on issues that pertains him and the people around him. Hence, it is a very powerful weapon for any one who wants to lead his people well. With the current growth in globalization and westernization, education is an indispensable tool to competent representation in this age.

The 1999 Constitution of the FRN in section 131(D) Provides thus:

  1. A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if

(D). he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its   equivalent.

From the provision of the Constitution Aforementioned, it is clear that a person with a secondary School certificate can contest for and occupy the office of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, which in the opinion of the writer, is not a sufficient academic qualification for such a very sensitive office because at the secondary School level of education, a person cannot successfully establish that he has acquired the exposure, skill, dexterity and academic capacity to formulate and implement policies that will catapult Nigeria to greater heights. Looking at the population and cultural diversity of Nigeria, only an academically sound person can lead and bring the changes desired by Nigerians.

The president of any country is the chief representative of his country to other countries and organizations. Nigeria, being a member of several international organizations, with ties and bilateral relationship with several countries, needs a well educated and vibrant President to competently represent it’s interest and opinion in the international scene.

Most nation’s of the world have left the backward practice of electing people with little or no education in to their country’s top office. It is a good development that Nigeria should emulate. The world is becoming more complex , global and dynamic by the day, hence the need for a more educated and competent person and not a secondary School certificate .

In line with the above positions, the writer recommends that section 131 (D) of the 1999 constitution should be removed and a new section which will readthus:

  1. A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if

(D). he has been educated up to at least Bachelor degree level or it’s equivalent.

Should be introduced to ensure that person’s that will occupy the office of the President federal republic of Nigeria are intellectually fit for the job!

Allan Bloom once said:

“Education is the movement from darkness to light.”!

 

Enoch Samson Periwrites

From the University of Maiduguri.

 
 



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