Nigerian constitutional convention begins D. Wes Rist at 9:27 AM ET
[JURIST] A national conference on constitutional change meets Monday in Nigeria to review and propose amendments to the nation's 45-year-old constitution [official text]. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] has traditionally opposed a reform movement, but agreed to the constitutional conference last year in an attempt to find a solution to the myriad of problems that face Africa's most populous nation. Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups scattered between 36 member states [list of official state websites]. The tension between the ethnic groups and the regional and federal governments has resulted in years of unrest and bloodshed. While Obasanjo encouraged the discussion of reforms and the revision of the constitution, he warned that none of the solutions should involve the disintegration of Nigeria in part or in whole. Nigeria is one of Africa's wealthiest nations, due largely to its significant reserves of oil. IRIN has more.
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