- The constitution retained a presidential system of government as in the 1979 constitution
- A two-party system was entrenched in the constitution
- The people could withdraw any legislator who no longer enjoyed the confidence of the electorate
- The federal capital territory, Abuja would not be regarded as a state
- There were provisions for an independent judiciary and a range of fundamental human rights for Nigerian citizens.
MERITS OF THE 1989 CONSTITUTION
- The two-party system made the choice of the electorate more focused with reduce confusion as in the multi-party system
- Minimum qualifications of age and education for candidates eliminated immature and ignorant people from participating in governance
- The greater prominence of local government made room for more rapid development at the local and rural areas.
DEMERITS OF THE 1989 CONSTITUTION
- Part time status and allowances given to legislators made them concentrate more on their private business than on law-making
- The two-party system limited the choice of both politicians and the electorate, thus restricting democracy.
FEATURES OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
- The constitution retains the 1979 and 1989 constitutions
- The constitution provides for a bicameral legislature, consisting of the house of representatives and senate and a unicameral legislature (house of Assembly) for each state
- The secondary school certificate is the minimum educational qualification for those wishing to contest elections into national and state positions such as legislators, president and governors
- The constitution provides for 774 local government councils
- The constitution provides for revenue allocation formula.
ADVANTAGES OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
- The constitution ushered in both the fourth republic and the presidential system of government
- It makes provision for minimum educational and age qualifications, thereby reducing in experience and illiteracy in governance
- There is room for greater political development at the grassroots.
- It allows for smooth transfer of power form military to civilians
DEMERITS OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
- The military imposed the constitution on the citizens of the country
- It is too rigid and difficult to amend
- The constitution was made to suit Abacha’s purpose
- It also centralized the judiciary, contrary to the demands of the federalism
- The constitution vested too much power in the federal government
- See your workbook
- See past WASSCE question papers
Table of Contents