The pan-northern socio-political and cultural association, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has said that the proposed National Conference may not be “a magic wand” to the myriad of problems confronting the country, citing previous conferences held since independence that did not record any achievements.
The Forum also said what the country lacked was the political will to realize its dreams.
The National Publicity Secretary, ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani, who made these views known in an interview, noted that the Forum was not against the idea of a national dialogue but preferred free and fair elections to it.
According to the spokesman of ACF, the argument that ethno-religious and political sentiments shared by lawmakers would make them incompetent to handle the national dialogue was baseless.
His words, “Are you suggesting that because the proposed national dialogue will be by ethnic nationalities, the delegates will cease to be Nigerians with distorted values? Will those who will select the delegates come from the moon? And will the legislatures have no place in the order of things anymore?
“While not opposed to the dialogue, it is our considered opinions that what remains lacking in our quest to move the nation forward is consciously directed efforts to make common desires possible and then actual.
“The starting point is free and fair elections under the watch of the Independent National Electoral Commission, especially if Nigerians make consciously-directed efforts and ensure that votes count, so that the ensuing leaders will be accountable to the people and make poverty history”, Mr. Sani stated.