By Senator Dino Melaye (SDM
A beautiful thing just happened in the country of Chile on 25th October 2020 that gives me hope for troubled Nigeria going forward. By an overwhelming majority of over 78% the People voted to do away with an oppressively undemocratic constitution midwifed by the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, but conceived form the intellectual loins of libertarian political economists and Nobel Prize winner James Buchanan. It was a radical rightwing dictated social contract misleadingly called the Constitution of Liberty and approved by rigged referendum. It was legislative concrete around the feet of the people.
As the Professor Kristen Sehnbruch of the London School of Economics wrote for the Guardian October 28th, 2020 ‘for over 30 years’ Chile’s rightwing constitutions, ‘played a significant role in creating political elites who kept themselves in power, and prevented political reforms from keeping pace with social change and expectations. A more educated middle class lived highly precarious lives: unemployment or illness brought many to the brink of poverty.”
You would be correct to think that this looks and sounds like Nigeria under the 1999 Constitution. Sehnbruch continues “Trust and confidence in institutions were eroded by political and institutional corruption scandals. Multiple inequalities and the powerlessness to confront them characterised the lives of many.”
Like Nigeria, Chile’s Police force regularly violated the human rights of Chileans. President Augusto Pinochet was arrested and charged in Spanish courts for torture, murder and the disappearances of Spanish citizens in Chile. Tortures and disappearances carried out by Pinochet’s ruthless secret police. Sehnbruch continues “an unreformed police force was persistently violating their hum