A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, has said that the current constitution and governance system of Nigeria cannot address the economic situation and other challenges facing the country.

Anyaoku listed poverty, insecurity, infrastructural breakdown, among others as some of the “serious challenges” in the country that the constitution has failed to tackle.

He stated this while speaking with journalists at his country home in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State on Saturday.

The diplomat spoke to journalists shortly after attending the ‘Ito Ogbo’ ceremony, an event and initiation for those who have attained the age of 80.

He expressed displeasure over the rising insecurity in the South East and the assassination of some president-generals by hoodlums.

Anyaoku said the current constitution was a departure from the constitution that the nation’s founding fathers negotiated and agreed.

He said, “These challenges cannot be effectively addressed under the current constitution and governance system we have at the moment.

“We cannot effectively address these challenges – the challenges are nationwide, insecurity is nationwide. There is greater insecurity in the northern parts of the country than in the southern parts.

“The constitution for a pluralistic state as Nigeria, we have to return to the principles of those, of the constitution agreed by our founding fathers.

“Until we do that, I am afraid that we can not effectively deal with the challenges that face the nation.”

Speaking about the Monday sit-at-home in the southeast region, the diplomat said that the exercise was doing great damage to the region’s economy.

He added, “The sit-at-home is doing great damage to the economy of the south-east, I do not support the idea, I think it is doing great damage to the economy. We have to deal with the root cause of the sit-at-home which is the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the court of law had ordered his release, that word gives those who advocate and participate in sit-at-home the reason for doing so.

“I think that the cause of the sit-at-home should be addressed, I do not think that the sit-at-home should be maintained, it should be stopped.”

Earlier, the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, while delivering his speech at the event, expressed his delight.

Soludo said, “This is my first time coming to Ito-Ogbo ceremony of Obosi. We want to celebrate, thank the Obosi people for giving Anambra, Nigeria and the world a celebration of longevity.

“Let the world learn how to celebrate with the living and not the dead, Obosi is one ward that is more than a local government. It deserves to be a local government.

“The celebration is part of the burial law in Anambra. It is better to slaughter a cow for the living than the dead. I urge the youths to decide to be 80 years and above, but killers, touts, among others will not live up to 80 years. Live a decent, responsible lifestyle to be able to live up to 80 years.”

Earlier, the traditional ruler of Obosi, Chidubem Iweka, commended the governor for being present at the function.

Iweka described the festival as an age-long cultural heritage of the people, adding that about 200 octogenarians were initiated into the Ogbuefi society.

“Those initiated have been exempted from all manners of taxations/levies and my prayer is that all who attended this ceremony will attain 80 years and above,” he prayed.

One of the inductees into Ogbueshi, Paul Uwakwe, thanked God for having attained 80 years and prayed for more years.

The highlight of the event was honouring of some people who have distinguished themselves in serious fields of human endeavour that including the Commander, Special Anti-Cultism Squad, Obosi, Mr. Isaac Nuhu.