Senators of the federal republic of Nigeria have thrown their weight behind the need to amend the 1999 Constitution, noting that it will address grievances and challenges in the country.
The Senators gave their support while dismissing the proposed call for a new constitution.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, some senators opined that it was not practicable to have a brand new constitution.
The Senators are Senator Gabriel Suswam , Gersom Bassey, Frank Ibezim and Opeyemi Bamidele.
Suswan insisted that it was possible to carry out the required amendments on the 1999 Constitution that would address the nation’s challenges.
He said, “If you look at developed economies, constitutional amendment is a continuous process. Nobody calls for a brand new constitution anywhere.
“What we need is a change of attitude of Nigerians. If you produce a brand new constitution, will that change Nigerians?
“What I think is that we should be talking about change attitude and the sincerity in the implementation and interpretation of the constitution.”
Bassey also said there was nothing difficult in amending the 1999 Constitution because the document was subject to amendments.
He said, “I think that constitutions in most part of the world are living documents which means that they are continuously being amended as they are used.
“I think the idea of sitting for a new constitution is not workable since we have a constitution that allows itself to evolve.
“The amendments allow us to achieve the type of constitution that we desired. The argument of a brand new constitution is debatable.”
Ibezim also disagreed with the idea of a new constitution, saying, “Constitution amendment enables people to review the state of the nation’s law.
“Nigerians know their challenges. The ongoing constitution review is timely so as to tackle the challenges facing Nigeria.”
Bamidele who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters said, “Nigerians who are calling for a brand new constitution are doing so based on their own assumption of what ought to happen.
“We cannot have a totally new constitution because the law does not grant us the power to do that. What Section 9 of the constitution grants us the power to do is amendment to the existing provisions.
“However, part of the amendment that can be made is an amendment to Section 9 which has specified the mode of altering our constitution.