THE National Consensus Group led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze and the National Action Coalition convened by Dr. Tunji Braithwaite have held a close door meeting on the state of the nation ahead of the forthcoming national dialogue being planned by Prof. Pat Utomi-led National Summit Group, billed to hold today.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, Braithwaite said the meeting was a pre-summit caucus strategy session aimed at figuring out issues to be deliberated upon.
Similarly, former Minster of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu said the summit was not a sectional affair but a national one. He said Nigerians should not be in the dark regarding the need for a national conference because it is a summit that would address the foundations of the country.
Kalu who stressed that the summit would not be based on the unity of Nigeria but the welfare of the people, urged Nigerians at all levels of government to see the necessity for a national dialogue.
According to him, since poverty does not discriminate between the north and south, there is need to address the structures that have made corruption prevalent in the country in order to reduce its attendant effects such as poverty, terrorism, robbery and kidnapping.
Also speaking at the meeting was an environmental activist, Annkoi Briggs who claimed corruption and injustice had been the bane of Nigeria as a country. She urged Nigerians to stand up and destroy the two vices.
Briggs noted that “Nigeria is a big country with various ethnic groups and as a result of this, there is a need to dialogue over the methodology for living.”
According to her, only nine out of the country’s 36 states are productive thereby making the other 27 dependent. She said it was high time other states started producing to reduce their dependence on the productive states.
The Director of Muslim Rights Congress, Akintola Is-haq said the colonial masters left the nation with a legacy of confusion thereby necessitating the need to have a national dialogue on the need to move forward as a nation. Also present at the meeting were Utomi and the former Secretary, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr. Kunle Olajide, among others.