Vanguard (Lagos)

10 February 2013

Nigeria: Why National Conference Must Hold Before 2015

Eminent Nigerians, led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, under the auspices of Project Nigeria, Saturday, in Lagos, called for a National Conference before 2015 elections, saying failure to do so may cause disaster, anarchy and spell doom for Nigeria.

The group also said Nigeria may become a failed state if good governance and accountability did not take root soonest.

According to Nwabueze, for Nigeria to move forward, there is absolute need for good governance, justice, equal treatment of citizens of various ethnic groups, observation of rule of law, transparency and accountability, free and fair elections.

His words, "Our meeting here today is to affirm our commitment to one Nigeria and indivisibility among ethnic groups. We believe from now to generations to come, this country should remain one nation but government must convene a national conference with immediate effect to discuss national issues that affects each ethnic groups in Nigeria.

"There is need to prepare the peoples constitution which will enable people of Nigeria of every ethnic groups, civil societies to deliberate and agree on the conditions they intend to live together"

He went further, "The peoples constitution will comprise of Justice, peace, development, progress for all Nigerians that will also promote nation building".

The elder statesman called on civil societies to press the National Assembly and the Presidency to immediately convene the National Conference.

"There is need for various movements, groups and organisations to press the National Assembly and the Presidency to quickly convene a conference where the groups will meet with the President and National Assembly to submit a memorandum which will be accompanied by a draft bill that will cover all aspects of the constitution".

Also present at the meeting were Maitama Sule, Sen Alex Ibru, Prince Bola Ajibola, Mike Ozhekome, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Philip Asiodu, Bola Kuforiji Olubi, Gen Alani Akinrinade, Prof Pat Utomi, Solomon Asemota, Ganiat Fawehinmi, and Shettima Yerima.

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