President Goodluck Jonathan has announced the setting up of an Advisory Committee to establish modalities for a national conference aimed at resolving issues that currently cause friction in the polity.
Jonathan said in an Independence Day broadcast that the committee which will have Dr. Femi Okurounmu as its Chairperson and Dr. Akilu Indabawa as its Secretary, is expected to complete its assignment within one month.
“Fellow Nigerians, our Administration has taken cognizance of suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a national dialogue on the future of our beloved country.
“When there are issues that constantly stoke tension and bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested parties to come together to discuss.
“In demonstration of my avowed belief in the positive power of dialogue in charting the way forward, I have decided to set up an advisory committee whose mandate is to establish the modalities for a national dialogue or conference.
“The committee will also design a framework and come up with recommendations as to the form, structure and mechanism of the process.
“The full membership of the committee will be announced shortly. I expect its report to be ready in one month, following which the nation will be briefed on the nomenclature, structure and modalities of the dialogue,” President Jonathan said in the broadcast.
Jonathan, while speaking on the spate of terrorist attacks, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to taking necessary steps to put an end to domestic terrorism.
“My heart goes out to the families of all those who have fallen victim of these dastardly acts. Our Administration will not rest until every Nigerian is free from the oppression of terrorism. I reassure you that no cost will be spared, no idea will be ignored, and no resource will be left untapped in the quest to enable our people live without fear.
“I implore every Nigerian – wherever you are, whatever language you speak, whatever your religious persuasion, whichever political party you support – let us join together to fight this evil of extremism,” President Jonathan declared.
“As men and women in leadership, we must continually focus on service, duty, responsibility and the next generation, not the next election. Those who are elected to govern at all levels must focus on improving the lives of our people, not selfish ambition.
“This is no time for the harmful clutches of parochial sentiments and the politics of bitterness, impunity, arrogance and unhelpful indiscipline.
“We must stand as one, with absolute commitment and resolve to resist any force that threatens us and the sanctity of our union,” President Jonathan said.
“If we look back over the years, we can confidently say that there is every reason to celebrate. The past 53 years have seen Nigeria evolve on an epic scale,” he noted.