Aare Afe Babalola, the Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, has said Nigeria’s main problem is the Military Constitution, “which was christened 1999 Constitution.”
He said this in a congratulatory letter to Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the congratulatory letter to Professor Gambari, Aare Babalola recommended immediate cancellation of feeding of school children, post-COVID-19 measures, control of access to the President, among other, deserve immediate attention.
Babalola said: “This richly-deserved appointment does not come to me as a surprise, having regard to your intimidating profile and your illustrious career.
“Your assignment as the Chief of Staff is coming at a very trying time for Nigeria and the world at large. I am, however, convinced that your persona and experience will stand you in good stead to rework the equation of governance in the country.
On the constitution, Aare Babalola said: “I have said it repeatedly in the past that the real and main problem Nigeria has today is the Military Constitution, which was christened 1999 Constitution and foisted on us by the Military. Unless the 1999 Constitution is properly addressed, jettisoned and replaced with a truly people’s constitution, we shall continue to groan in pain as a nation.
“The 1999 Constitution, which encourages indolence, lack of creativity, greed and avarice, wanton struggle for positions in the central government and the untoward attitude of begging for monthly allocation from the Federal Government should be jettisoned for a truly people’s constitution.
“Therefore, there should be no election before the outcome of the proposed Sovereign National Conference.
“The 2023 general elections should be conducted using the new constitution, which will be the outcome, indeed the product, of a Sovereign National Conference.”
On what needed to be attended to, he recommended: “An immediate cancellation of the feeding of school children, when schools are closed and the school children are with their parents and especially when their addresses will be impossible to trace.
“On the contrary, the money that has been earmarked for the feeding should be used to support public institutions to purchase testing machines, such as Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR, machine, face masks, sanitisers and serological test machines.
“These safety measures will enable the higher institutions to re-open because the hygienic status of their campuses would have been enhanced.
“This is the appropriate time for you to recommend to Mr. President to immediately put in place measures that will address the aftermath of COVID-19.
“This is also the appropriate time to recommend to Mr. President to put in place policies and measures that will encourage the production of home-grown vaccines and drugs to combat the deadly coronavirus.
“Under you as the Chief ,of Staff, those who have useful advice for Mr. President should be allowed easy access to the President.”
He urged the new Chief of Staff to, “as soon as you settle down, visit Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, which the NUC has been described as a ‘model, benchmark and reference point in university education’ for you to see the combination of ‘miracle and magic’ we have been able to perform these 10 years and, particularly, to see what we are doing to change the face of education in Nigeria to entrench quality and functional education.
“It will be the more fulfilling if you can come in the company of Mr. President, whom I have invited, on several occasions in the past to see what we have been doing since we commenced academic works 10 years ago.”