chapter  9
19 Pages

Return to Politics

WithDavid Williams

In the Constituent Assembly Shehu Shagari was at once regarded as a “senior statesman”. He was, for example, secretary of the Assembly’s powerful “Steering Committee”. The Constituent Assembly met in Lagos on October 6,1977. It was formally dissolved in September the following year, although it had presented the constitution it proposed to the Head of State some weeks earlier. Before the assembly met, the draft which the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) had delivered to General Obasanjo in September 1976 had been very extensively discussed throughout the country in symposia and other gatherings, in the newspapers and on radio and television. The CDC draft did imply complete abandonment of the Westminster system under which Nigeria, like most British colonies, had become independent. There would be an executive President elected by the whole nation, who would select his ministers from outside the national legislature.