These days I receive calls from friends, acquaintances, and relatives commending me for the work we do and the knowledge sharing on social media. Some call me when they get into trouble and we try to get it sorted using available information and resources. Some think I am a Lawyer, I am not anything close to a lawyer, I spent most of my Educational experience solving Mathematics. There is also the assumption that I have “connections” and know everybody, which may not be correct because the answer is simple, knowledge is Power. I grew up with the culture of staying “current”, knowing what happens in the polity and having basic knowledge of the Law from the Constitution and institutions that enforce the Law. So it is with this knowledge and skills over time that we use to respond to issues and escalate with authorities established by the Law. And that is how we connect-the-dots and solve some of the problems we encounter day-to-day, this is what we are trying to do at Citizens Connect, getting more people informed and engaged in the Governance Process. You can join our Facebook Group by clicking this Link.
The Constitution of Nigeria is the supreme law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, every Nigerian at the minimum should be familiar with key sections of the constitution, this will help you understand your rights and guide your daily experiences. See link to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
About 10 years ago, my friend Zubair Abubakar developed the Constitution App that enabled many Nigerians to have access to the constitution on their mobile phones and be more enlightened about their rights and the most important laws that govern us. You can still download the Constitution App from App Store or google play and make out time to study it.
Beyond reading the constitution I will recommend we get familiar with key sections especially chapter IV (Section 33-46) which addresses your FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT.
Sometimes when I have conversations with my American friends you hear them quoting amendments to the American Constitution, even though I am not American I am familiar with the 1st Amendment, 2nd, 4th, 15th, and 26th amendment. The 1st Amendment “Prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the right to petition the government”
Similarly, the Nigerian Constitution captures provisions in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution in the following sections of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution:
38 Right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
39. Right to freedom of expression and the press.
40 Right to peaceful assembly and association.
You can see further details in the constitution and seek legal advice when necessary.
We are working to popularise key sections of the Constitution and get more people to contribute to the Lawmaking process. What sections of the Nigerian Constitution are you familiar with? Again a good start will be to know Chapter IV of the Nigerian Constitution. I know most Nigerians are familiar with 419 and could easily relate it to fraud or scam but some people may not know it is named after the article numbered 419 in Nigerian criminal code, which deals with fraud.
I am hoping that we can share more knowledge on the Constitutions and other Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And popularise more codes that we can evoke in our daily experiences.