A professor at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. A.A. Idowu has identified illiteracy as a contributory factor to Nigeria’s constitutional problems.
He said this while delivering the 308th Inaugural Lecture of the university entitled “Problems of the Nigerian Constitutions and Constitutional Problems of Nigeria: Workable Solutions” on Tuesday.
Idowu noted that successive civilian and military governments in Nigeria had made counter-productive policies of privitisation and poor funding of the education sector, looting public treasuries, and failure to devote 26% of the National Budget to education funding based on UNESCO standard.
He added that while various provisions in the Nigerian constitution state that government desires to provide free education at all levels, Nigeria still has the largest number of children of school.
The law professor equally revealed that the depth of illiteracy accounts for why Nigerians cannot massively demand their rights since virtually every item in the constitution was produced without the input of the citizenry.
“As one of the constitutional problems of Nigeria, illiteracy has prevented effective mobilisation and education of the people around the Constitution so as to enable them understand it, claim its ownership and employ it, not only to defend their individual or collective rights but also, to protect the entire democratic superstructure.”
In his lecture, he mentioned other constitutional problems as colonial indoctrination, military intervention in politics, deprivation of federating units of their resources, corruption and indiscipline, and exclusion and alienation. Others identified were ethno-religious and cultural pluralism, high cost of governance, disregard for the rule of law, insecurity, and tenuous judicial terms.
EduCeleb.com gathered that the father of five proposed that the solutions to Nigeria’s political problems lie in the provision of a new constitution that guarantees equal opportunities for all Nigerians “on the basis of freedom, equality and justice” irrespective of their backgrounds.