By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday stated for the umpteenth time that his decision to organize a National Conference at this point in time is devoid of any hidden agenda. Rather he said the country cannot continue to proffer yesterday’s solution for today’s problem.
Jonathan’s decision to convene a national dialogue which was inaugurated today and scheduled to hold for 3months have been a subject of criticism, especially by opposition All Progressive Congress APC who alleged a hidden agenda.
But President while inaugurating the 492 member conference in Abuja dismissed accusation, imploring the delegates not to allow those he described as antagonist of the unity and togetherness to prevail.
He said,” I have said this before, but let me repeat that I President Goodluck Jonathan has no hidden agenda towards the National Conference.
According to him, “The challenges of 1956 are certainly not the challenges of 2014, and definitely not challenges that the nation will face in years to come. It makes sense, therefore, that as the challenges before us evolve, we must be constant and proactive in our search for fresh solution. We cannot continue to proffer yesterday’s solution for today’s problems.
“I sincerely believe, however, that we can overcome all obstacles to true national unity if we dig deep into the recess of our national character and look up to God almighty for wisdom and generosity of spirit we need to ensure the success of this conference.
“I am confident that we are embarking on a landmark journey that will make us stronger as a nation if we undertake it with all sense of purpose and sincerity. Let us do that which is selfless, purposeful and patriotic so that history will remember us for having served our nation well.”
President Goodluck Jonathan urged the National Assembly and state houses of Assembly to speed up the constitutional amendment so that referendum included in the review can be used to make the outcome of the exercise valid.
He said,” Let me at this point thank National Assembly for introducing the provision of referendum in the proposed amendment in the constitution. This should be relevant for this conference if at the end of the deliberation, the need for a referendum arises.
“I urged National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly to speed up the constitutional amendment process especially with regard to the subject of referendum.”
Meanwhile, indication emerged yesterday that the All Progressive Congress (APC) is yet to forward nomination of its delegates to National Conference even as it kicks off.
Also, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) yet to send nominees to National CONFAB due to intra-party issue that is yet to be resolved
The decision of APC not to forward name of delegates to the office of the Secretary of the Federation might be as result of the view of the APC that the Conference is just a Greek gift that nothing will come out of it.
Although delegates were nominated from APC states by the governors from those states. However as at press time no official statement has been issued from National secretariat of the party.
Speaking after the inauguration, the governor of Ondo state Olusegun Mimiko assured that at the end of this National Conference the country will come out stronger.
Governors present at the inaguration were , Theodore Orji of Abia state, Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, Elechi Amadi of Ebonyi state, Lyle Imoke of Cross River state, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state.
Also speaking at the end of the inaguration, Senator Philip Adudua expressed optimism that the people of Federal Capital Territory will benefit maximally in this ongoing national conference.
He said that part of their requests in the National Conference is to ensure that FCT has three senators like other states in the country and the issue of the state Assembly should also be look into by the committee.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone provided by Airtel Nigeria.