The National Assembly has taken a great step by calling on the general public, civil society organizations and others to participate in the process to usher-in the amendment of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This step was taken when the Assembly called for memorandum from the public. Media in Nigeria – MediaInNig™ believes that the best of a nation’s laws are those that are made by full and active participation by the citizens of the country.
The effort towards 1999Constitutional amendment can be intensified by exploring greater frontier of citizen participation in governance and decision making beyond calls for memorandum alone. It is widely known that opinion polling as a referendum is a great tool that dated back in framework to the ancient Greek democratic structure of collective decision making.
In a modern setting such as the one that Nigeria is placed presently, the channel of referendum and opinion polling can still be harnessed to garnish the Constitutional amendment process. One wonder how over 60 percent of the 160 million people who make up the eligible voters can be engaged to contribute.
The versatile mechanism that e-media and m-media to various societal issues can not be over emphasizes and much solicited to be harnessed by the Nigeria populace to great a resonating memorandum on various aspects or sections of our great Constitution which we believe need to be re-versed.
Various means that are overlooked can be used. Such include our social networks e.g FACEBOOK, YAHOOGROUPS, GOOGLEGROUPS. Mobile phones offer great media to add voice to the Constitution amendment e.g. SMS, Nokia Share, Blackberry Messenger among many other.
The Institute for Media and Society believes that various civil society groups, pressure groups and government agencies can rise up to the occasion of this great amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by gathering opinion poll on focal issues and be umpires of people’s poll. The results of this poll can be used to make a great case for amendment of specific aspect in our Constitution.
To this effect, the official commencement of an opinion poll on issues relating to MEDIA, BROADCASTING and COMMUNICATION in the 1999 Constitution will be launched by the Institute very soon and will be housed by the Institute website www.imslag.9jahost.org and also featured on the Institute social sites: http://facebook.com/imesoimeso
Long live the Constitution! Long live the people of Nigeria!