What Is Withholding The Sovereign National Conference?

It is almost clear that we have explored every other means in quelling the recent spate of violence that has threatened our common existence as a nation. It is equally true that every step that have been taken thus far in making sure that our nation gets back on developmental wheels has proved almost abortive if we must tell ourselves the hard truth. It is also crystal clear that all manners of panels and committees that were set up to look into the remote causes of these violence and steps towards nipping them in the bud when they arise has failed in totality. Not even the torrents of security outfit that are littered around our societies as though we are at war against each other has helped in any way instead it has only added salt to injury.

What am I trying to say? Despite the voluminous presence of security outfits within our neighborhoods, on the roads, across the borders, in the sea and even on air, there is still little or nothing to show for these strides instead we have only taken more of our brothers to the mortuary, we have engaged in ceremony of burials every now and then. The last time I travelled from Maiduguri to Kano, I counted at least seven security agencies that littered the highway on governmental pay roll all in a bid to secure a better and happier society devoid of violence little wonder a bulk of the annual budget for 2012 went to the sector a whopping one trillion Naira and even more since it is one of the paramount duty of any government anywhere in the world to protect the lives and properties of its citizens as enshrined in sec. 14(2) of our constitution.

But despite all these efforts, one thing that has left me beleaguered is………has all these efforts yielded a thing? What is there to show for the over one trillion Naira allocated to the security sector in the running budget that is now acting as a deficit on other sectors that would have received from the excess and is indirectly affecting our economy? The answer we all know is almost nothing for in my opinion never has there been recorded the number of deaths already recorded between January and now along violence by whatever name it is called that has left even the presidency quivered to the teeth.

All the panels, committees, workshops (e.t.c) that has before now been set up to look into some of these problems at various levels has yielded little or no outcome., Even before the recent crisis in barkin-ladi plateau state, the late member of the plateau state house of assembly that later became a victim had organized a committee to look into the tribal conflict but did it solve the problem? No, instead it took his life, may his soul rest in peace Amen.

Irrespective of how much we are ready and willing to tell ourselves the hard truth, one thing remains customary, this unity in diversity is no longer working I don’t know if it ever worked before now anyway but the earlier we had come together under one umbrella in the name of a national conference to fashion out a better future for ourselves and generations yet unborn, the better for us all for in all sincerity never was it known where cats and dogs lived together under one roof.

Between Saturday and Sunday, over 110 innocent souls were murdered in the pool of their own blood with life sniffed out of them by their fellow states men for reasons only the perpetrators and the devil knows; and yet we sit down and say there is a unity in diversity. Oh! When are we going to stop this joke? I have said it in a previous piece that this unity in diversity exists only in our government and social study text books but not in our societies. The time is rife for the Goodluck-Sambo administration to summon the totality of the representatives of the diverse ethnic groups in this comatose behamose called Nigeria in a sovereign National Conference to discuss what really is the problem hampering our communal existence as nationals. The time has come for us to tell ourselves the truth that we had before now concealed from one another for reasons clouded with sentiments and that has now turned into a steep price too high for us to pay as individuals. The time is come for us to cease regarding one another as either a northern, or a westerner or an easterner but rather on the contrary call ourselves Nigerians irrespective of our ethnic or geographical differences. The indigene/settler phenomena shall no longer be a cause for blood bath but rather be a cause to unite us together despite creed differences.

Summoning a sovereign conference, doesn’t mean some kind of declaration of war amongst ourselves, but rather something close to the Aburi accord where the different ethnic groups and their representatives shall have a chance to be heard and anyone whose ox is gored will also be heard and in unison a new compromise arrived at to be put into effect by an act of legislation. If there be a need for the creation of additional states or local government councils to quell the problem of indigene and settler crisis witnessed in many parts of the country, then the national assembly shall also swing into action to address such to avoid future occurrences as they could be even more deadly I hope am wrong though.

If the present administration, seeks to leave a mark in the sands of history, then it must summon a national conference and shun the ceremony of probes that leaves each and every one of us over whelmed at the end of it all and creating even more problems for ourselves. For all I know, kicking against a national conference amounts to nothing but postponing the dooms day as was once counseled by the legal colossus, Professor Ben Nwabueze. Definitely it promises to be an intricate task, but I rather give something a trial and fail than haven not tried and regret at the end. Had I known is a phrase I hate using and am sure nobody likes either. A stitch in time will always save nine. God bless Nigeria.

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