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Understanding The So-Called Special Status Under Article 62 Of The Constitution

By Simon D

The so much talked about Major National Dialogue has come and gone. If there is one thing which most of us learned from it and are pondering over it, then it is the term ” Special Status”. Several recommendations were arrived at at the end of the meeting, but the recommendation of granting the North-West and South-West Regions “Special Status” is in itself special.

This is because no one seems to understand the exact meaning or implication of the phrase. Actually the “Special Status” of the region is laid out in articles 61 and 62 of the Constitution.

Article 61(2): The President of the Republic may, as and when necessary:
(a). Change the names and modify the geographical boundaries of regions listed in paragraph (1) above,
(b). Create other Regions. In this case, he shall give them names and fix their geographical boundaries.

Article 62.
(1). The aforementioned rules and regulations shall apply to all regions.
(2). Without prejudice to the provisions of this part, the law may take into consideration the specificities of certain Regions with regard to their organization and running.

Lets us reason it together.

Now, looking at the above articles we can see that no one, except those who wrote this constitution, has been told what is in the so-called “Special Status” and how it can be implemented. Only the President of the Republic decides what or which type of “special status” to give out, and how and when.

The ambiguous nature of articles above only gives the President the power to gerrymander the national boundaries for his political gains at any time without fear.

Indeed, too much power in one man’s hands is dangerous.

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