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Of Southern Cameroons Draft Constitution And Constitutional Lawyers

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Draft Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia: Our Constitutional Lawyers must go to Work, while the Struggle Continues

The release of a draft constitution of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia by the Interim Government for public critique was a necessary action. This was very important because the Ambazonian nation is largely a product of constitutional bastardization, manipulation and bad faith, by our supposed brother, La Republique du Cameroun, who for 56 years has been bent on perfecting and implementing a concocted agenda of assimilation and subjugation on the Southern Cameroons people.

Consequently, a Constitution for Ambazonia must be outrightly void of any of those characteristic practices in La Republique that are making us fight for Freedom today. It must be a PEOPLE’S CONSTITUTION and not a GOVERNMENT’S CONSTITUTION. That is, our Constitution drafters must be cognizant of the fact that the Constitution they are drafting is sacred document for the Ambazonian people and not for the Ambazonian Government (Executives). In other words, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia must rest adequate powers to the people and not to the leaders.

After a perusal of the draft constitution, and an observational study of public opinion, it was noticed that; though the people welcomed some its innovative clauses with a lot of euphoria, a good number of critico-politically conscious Ambazonians and opinion leaders have identified reasonable flaws in the draft document, especially in terms of the structure and functioning of the different organs and tiers of government and Federal institutions.

On these basis, we are putting forward that, whoever shall be privilege to make contributions to or be part of the Constitutional committee, must consider the following characteristics which Ambazonians expect to see truly reflected on the final draft Constitution.

(1) Clarity or Definiteness: By this, we mean that every Article or clause of the Ambazonia Constitution should be written in such a simple language, as should express its meaning clearly. They must be void of any ambiguity to prevent individual interpretations during implementation, which could eventually lead to many litigations relating to different interpretations.

(2) Brevity: The Constitution should not be lengthy. It should contain only important things and unimportant things should be left out. The Constitution must not carry a bit of everything about daily life in Ambazonia. That’s why there is the Parliament (The People’s Assembly), which the Constitution must also give it enough powers and operational time for both legislative functions – making and passing critical Acts that compliment the Constitution of the land, and oversight functions – supervising the activities of institutions and agencies under the executives.
The recently released draft Constitution appears to be very lengthy with many unimportant citations and conflicting articles/clauses.
The Ambazonian Parliament and Judiciary, from the draft Constitution, appear to still very much stand at the same position with those of La Republique du Cameroun.
On the working of the Ambazonian legislature, we recommend the Constitutional committee to the workings of the Nigerian Parliament.

(3) Comprehensiveness: It means that the constitution should be applicable to the whole Federation of Ambazonia. That is, besides the federal government, there should be a clear mention of the structure and powers of States, Counties and Local Governments. We appreciate the mention of important matters relating to the rights and duties of the government and the citizens.

(4) Flexibility: The Constitution should not be too rigid to hinder the process of amendment when need be. However, articles and clauses related to terms of office of elected and appointed political leaders and heads of Government owned corporations and institutions must be clearly spelt out and also rigidified in order to prevent political monopolies from emerging in Ambazonia.

(5) Declaration of rights: A good constitution must contain the fundamental rights of the people. In the Constitution of countries like India, Soviet Union, China, France, America, Japan and Italy, such types of declarations have been made. Good enough, the Ambazonia draft constitution also contains the Bill of Rights.

(6) Independence of Judiciary: The independence of Judiciary is another quality of a good Constitution. The judiciary of any nation is the arbiter of the political, economic and social structures of the State. Consequently, the judiciary should be completely taken out of the control of the executives. If possible, the Constitution should grant financial autonomy to the judiciary, thereby empowering it to function freely. It must be seen to truly act as the guardian of the Fundamental Rights of the people of Ambazonia without fear or favour. Also, there must be a clear distinction between the powers and functions of the Constitutional and the Supreme Courts. If possible, the Supreme Court could play the role of the Constitutional Court. This is to avoid duplications or making the Supreme Court another court of apealate jurisdiction, rather than being a court of absolute jurisdiction and final finality.

(7) Directive Principles of State Policy: mention must be made of the Directive Principles of State Policy, because it helps in the establishment of a welfare state. These principles also serve as a beacon for the government. Though these principles have been mentioned in just a few constitutions of the world, there is no harm in mentioning them in the Constitution of Ambazonia, as they are more useful, than harmful. A good example of these principles are present in the Constitutions of India and Ireland.

As the quest for the total liberation of the homeland continues, Constitutional lawyers and other legal luminaries of Ambaland extraction must therefore go to work and put in genuine contributions for a PEOPLES Constitution. For this is also part of the revolutionary struggle to free the homeland. As we struggle to come out of the political fire called La Republique du Cameroon, which our political ancestors put us in, we must also, as Anglosaxon people take all necessary precautionary measures to avoid related political fire incidents in our new home.

By so doing, we shall be making a difference and proving to the world and our unborn generations that, coming out of La Republique du Cameroun’s house of bondage was a noble thing to do and we did.

James Agbor, BaretaNews Political Analyst

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