President Buhari
President Buhari

SOME months ago members
of the National Assembly
took another decision that
may deepen the crack in their
relationship with President
Muhammadu Buhari as they
heeded to clarion call by Nigerians
for the government to

commence
implementation of

the
2014 national conference

recommendations.
Prior to now President Buhari
had
given intention
that

the
confab report
is only good

enough
for the shelf to gather

dust.
During newspaper interviews

to mark his first anniversary

in office last May,
President Buhari said despite
the pressure from Nigerians
for him to revisit the confab
report, he had not even read
the report and that it would
remain in the archives where
according to him it rightly belongs.
He said: “I advised against
the issue of National Conference.
You
would
recall
that

ASUU
was on strike then

for
almost nine months. The

teachers
in
the
tertiary
institutions
were
on strike for more

than

a year, yet that government
had about N9billion to

organise
that meeting (National

Conference), and some
(members) were complaining
Mr. President’s
reluctance
to revisit
the confab
report, rather
than dampen
demands for its
implementation,
only succeeded
in swelling the
region of groups
and individuals
across the
country
demanding
for its
implementation that they hadn’t even been paid.
I never liked the priority of that
government on that particular issue,

because it meant that what
the National Assembly could
have handled was handed to the
Conference, while the more important
job of keeping our children
in schools was abandoned.

That
is why I haven’t even bothered
to read
it or ask for a briefing
on
it,
and
I
want
it
to
go
into

the
so-called archives.”
Mr. President’s reluctance to
revisit the confab report, rather
than dampen demands for its
implementation, only succeeded
in swelling the region of groups
and individuals across the coun-
try demanding for its implementation.
In response to this swelling
demand the House of Representatives
special ad hoc committee
on the review
of the 1999

Constitution
formally adopted

the
report
of the 2014 National

Conference
as part of its working
document.
In a press statement, the chief
press secretary to the deputy
speaker, Wole Oladimeji said
the decision to adopt the report
of the National Conference was
taken at a working session/re-
treat of the committee recently
held at TRANSCORP Hilton Hotel,
Abuja.

He
said
copies
of
the report

READ ALSO  Nasarawa: Paris club refund and Maku’s contradicting figures

had
been circulated
to members

of
the
committee
to go
through

and
come up with recommendations
to the committee while

the
consultants to
the committee

had
given a report
to advise the

committee
on
how to go about
it.
He
added that some of the

salient
proposals
in the report

would
be

turned into draft bills,
which would be presented to the
House for adoption and passage.
Towing the position of the lower

chamber, the Senate late last
week Friday faulted President
Buhari’s position on the report
of the 2014 National conference insisting that parts of the report
would be used for the amendment
of the nation’s constitution.
Some
senators said the implementation
of
the
recommendations
contained
in
the
2015
Confab
report,
would
go
a
long
way

to

solve the various social, economic
and political challenges

currently
facing Nigeria.
The
senators
agreed
that
the

Confab
report
represented
the

genuine
opinion of Nigerians

from
all walks of life across
the

country
on how to faithfully

move
the nation forward.
Chairman,

Senate Committee
on Ethics, Privileges and Public
Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu,

who is also of the upper
chamber constitution review
committee,  maintained that
the problems facing the country
would be solved to a great extent
when all, or part of the confab report
was implemented.
He
also cautioned the All
Progressives
Congress
controlled

Federal Government against
playing politics with the report
in the interest of the entire nation.
He
said,
“The
most
sincere
way

to
actually address
the various

social
and economic problems

currently
facing the country is

to
put politics aside and allow

the
National Assembly
use all or

part
of the recommendations
in

the
Confab report
during its constitution
review
exercise.
“The
report
is the best thing

that
could happen to this country
because it contained provisions
and recommendations
that

could
assist us as a nation. The

problem
of Nigeria will continue

if
we
neglect
theConfab report.”

Also,

the Chairman, Senate
Committee on Anti – Corruption
and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, advised top
government functionaries at
all tiers, to forget about politics
and explore ways to move the
nation forward.
He said, “The issue of politics
should end after election.

Both
the party in government

and
the opposition should

collaborate
towards
ensuring

that
policies and programmes

aimed
at moving the country

forward,
are
implemented.
“The
Federal Government

READ ALSO  Group lauds Gov Lalong over performan

should
revisit
the issue of the

Confab
report
because apart

from
the fact that it contained

recommendations
that could

restructure
the
country
and

end
all the social crises currently

being experienced, it
was carried out with the taxpayers’
money.
“There
is nothing wrong

with
the provisions
contained

in

the Confab report, the senate
would also ensure
that part

of
the report
form part of the

review we would carry out in
the 1999 Constitution.”
Also responding to the president’s

assertion, some prominent
Nigerians tackled the

president,

insisting that major
highlights of the conference
that should be implemented.
One of the delegates to the
conference and Obi of Onitsha,

HRM Igwe Nnaemeka
Achebe, called on President
Buhari to revisit the recommendations
of the 2005 and

2014
National Conferences
to

address
prevailing
challenges

in
the country.
The

first class traditional
ruler, who made copious references
to the 2005 National

Political
Reform Conference

convened by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the
2014 National Conference by
ex-President Goodluck Jonathan,
argued
that if the recommendations
could be extracted

and
implemented, 80 per

cent of the nation’s problems
would have been resolved.
Igwe Achebe spoke at a re-
ception held in his honour by
the Ibadan School of Government
and Public Policy (ISGPP),
Bodija, Ibadan.
Achebe said Nigeria’s challenges
would have been lighter
if the recommendations
of

the

past National Conferences
were implemented.
“We as Nigerians have to
work to actualise peace. Nigerians
are
probably
saying that

the
governance of this country

is
over centralized.
“Most of the decisions are
made in Abuja and by the time
it gets to the grassroots here
most of them have been di-
luted.
“The Niger Delta people are
asking for greater share of the
natural resource. Like in 2005
and 2014, we had National
political conferences under
former President Olusegun
Obasanjo and immediate past
President Jonathan.
“They conveyed National
Conferences and if you look
at the recommendations, you
will see that the recommendations
actually
addressed
75
to

80
percent
of the problems
facing
Nigeria.
“Why can’t we extract from
the recommendations to solve these crisis in the land. The case
of the Niger Delta people, you
will find the recommendation
there in the report”.
Another elder statesman, General
Zamani Lekwot (rtd) is of

the view that the 2014 National
Conferencereport is the real formula
to restructure
this country

READ ALSO  Congo opposition party expels top official

and
implementing the report
is

a
solution to the
nation’s problems.
His words: “Ignoring the entire
report would amount to asking
where Nigeria is going because,
during the conference, we had
the best of Nigerians, all professions,
age
and
class
of
people

who
represented
various
groups

as
well
as the
group
of elder

statesmen.
“The implementation
of the report
can be done in phases, but

throwing
away the entire
report

will
not help the country.
Implementing
the report
will boost

our
economy,
it would boost

investment as that would help
create a very conducive atmosphere
for businesses to thrive

and
investors will come to the

country.
“Implementing the report will
also boost agriculture which
used to be our mainstay, water
would be improved, the inflation
would be checked as well

as
lay a solid foundation for the

development
of the country.
Implementing
the
conference
report
will address
the issue of insecurity
in the land. During the

National

Conference, I learnt a
lot from other Nigerians, who were delegated.Another elder statesman and
former Permanent Secretary in
Rivers State who was a delegate
to the conference, Dr. Patricia
Ogbonnaya said “It is being
narrow-minded and unpatriot-
ic because the president cannot
claim that the report is entirely
useless to the development of
our countryNigeria.
“He (Buhari) should be reminded
of the calibre
of Nigerians
who were
at the conference.

They
were
men and women

who
have
excelled
in
their
various
fields
of
endeavour,
including
good performance as public
and civil servants from
the

teething
period of this country.

Mr.
President
should
know
that

no
single individual has a monopoly
of knowledge; he should

take
the
good parts of
the report

and
discard
the so-called bad

parts
if he so wishes.”
As
Nigerians await President

Buhari’s
reaction
to the deci-
sion of the two chambers of the
National Assembly to adopt the
2014 confab report as working
document, political observers
and public analysts in the country
are
of the view that President
Buhari will further alienate
himself from
the people if

his
administration
refuses
to

heed
the call for implementations
of the report.
The country

is
presently
witnessing agitations
from
various groups
and

it
is widely believed that these

agitations
can be curtailed by

restructuring
as contained in

the 2014 national conference re-port.


Loading...
loading...
SHARE