President Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated the 13-man National Advisory Committee to establish modalities for a National Conference aimed at resolving issues that cause friction in the polity.
Inaugurating the committee earlier today at the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the president charged members to consult widely before getting down to the task of developing a framework that will guide and guard the proceedings of the discussions.
His words: “In the task before you, no voice is too small and no opinion is irrelevant. Thus the views of sceptics and those of the enthusiasts must be accommodated as you formulated this all important framework.
“This conversation is a people’s conversation and I urge you to formulate an all-inclusive process that protects the people’s interest,” President Jonathan said.
The president again maintained that in the midst of all the agitations and tensions in the country it was only timely and appropriate that Nigerians sit down and talk so as to calm the situation and provide an avenue for them to channel their grievances, misgivings and suggestions into more positive use for the good of the country.
While thanking the Senate President, David Mark and the leadership and members of the National Assembly for supporting the National Conference which he termed a “National Project,” Mr. Jonathan used the opportunity to assure those, who think the conference will call the integrity of Nigeria into question saying, “This National Discourse will strengthen our union and address issues that are often on the front burner, and are too frequently ignored.”
Information Nigeria reports that rather than the one month timeframe earlier announced by President Jonathan, the committee, chaired by Senator (Dr) Femi Okurounmu and Dr. Akilu Indabawa as secretary, has six weeks within which to submit its report.