Biafra 'No room for referendum', says Governor El-Rufai

The governor said he's glad the Nigerian constitution makes no provision for conducting referendums.

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Gwamnan Nasir El-rufai play Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai (Punch)
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Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai has expressed his delight at the constitutional limits of conducting a referendum in the country, saying that the results are undesirable.

The governor revealed this while he was speaking on restructuring at Chatham House in London on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

While responding to a question from the audience about the Federal Government's position on the calls for a referendum to determine the fate of agitations for separatist groups in the country, most especially the agitations for a Biafra Republic, the governor said the Nigerian constitution makes no provision for conducting one, except in special cases.

President Muhammadu Buhari (R) with Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai (L) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 play

President Muhammadu Buhari (R) with Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai (L) on Tuesday, September 12, 2017

(Twitter/@GovKaduna)

 

He also said that the only possibility of changing that is if there's a constitutional amendment through the legislature in the National Assembly.

The governor went further to say based on the results of referendums in other countries, he's glad that the Nigeria does not cater to the idea of it.

While responding, he said, "Unfortunately, or fortunately, in our constitution, there's no room for referendum except in one case, I think, when you want to create a local government or a state.

"We cannot put constitutional questions to referendum, we can only amend our constitution through the process I've described through our legislature.

"This is why President Buhari said all these issues about restructuring ultimately should be referred to the National Assembly

"What we're doing now will provide the frame and guidance for the issues that will be presented to the National Assembly.

"Referendums may appear very attractive, but as we have seen in some countries, they have led to very very dysfunctional outcomes, and in a way, I'm happy that we don't have such provisions in our constitution.

"Of course we can amend the constitutions to include referendums, but I'm not sure based on what we've seen in the Trumpian world, whether that is desirable."

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While addressing another question on restructuring, the governor said while the loudest supporters of the subject are doing it for selfish regional reasons, the Federal Government is doing its best in putting together a concrete plan to achieve a result that everyone can get behind.

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