Why I Changed My Mind On National Conference – Jonathan Reveals

The Federal Government pressed further yesterday its attempt to convoke a national dialogue by inaugurating in Abuja its appointed panel of planners.


President Goodluck Jonathan told those who contend that Nigeria’s integrity would be compromised by such a conference that it would not lead to the nation’s disintegration.

He said although he was opposed to a national conference, a new reality changed his position, adding that he pandered to the yearnings of the people.

Of the 13 members of the panel, 12 attended the inauguration, including its chairman, Dr Femi Okurounmu.

The members are: Alhaji Dauda Birma, Prof. George Obiozor, Sen. Khairat Gwadabe, Sen. Timothy Adudu, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd), Prof. Funke Adebayo, Mrs Mairo Ahmed Amshi, Dr. Abubakar Sadiq, Mallam Bukhari Bello, Mr. Tony Uranta and Dr. Akilu Ndabawa, who is the committee’s secretary.

The 13th member, Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN), opted out of the assignment on health grounds. The octogenarian recommended another member of his elders’ club, The Patriots, Mr Solomon Asemota (SAN), to replace him.

At yesterday’s inauguration, it was not clear whether his suggestion was approved by the government or not.

Unlike the one month period he announced in his Independence Day broadcast, the President yesterday gave the panel six weeks to submit its report.

Dr Jonathan described the Okurounmu panel as “a child of necessity to midwife this Conversation”, saying they are “Nigerians with wide experience from various disciplines to facilitate a most acceptable process that will bring our aspirations to fruition”.

He said the committee’s work would set the stage for developing a harmonious and truly united nation.

Okurounmu thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them.

He said: “It can be argued that no committee in our polity today is more sensitive or carries higher expectations from the peoples of Nigeria than this committee.”

He noted that there had been calls from many sections of Nigerian Public Opinion, for over two decades, for the convening of a National Conference in one form or the other.

Okurounmu promised the president “that we shall not let him down. We shall not fail the nation”. “We shall not be another case of failed expectations. We shall not betray the confidence which the president and over 160 million Nigerians have reposed in us.”

In an interview with reporters later, Okurounmu said he believed that the position of a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that the conference is a “Greek gift” must have been misquoted.

He said Tinubu had been an advocate of a conference, adding that the Pro National Conference (PRONACO) held in the past was sponsored by Tinubu.

Former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd.), yesterday backed President Goodluck Jonathan’s planned national conference.

He told State House correspondents after making a presentation as the Board Chairman of the proposed Centenary City that it was better to dialogue than to go to war.

On the proposed centenary celebration, he said Nigeria has many reasons to celebrate its 100 years of amalgamation.

Source: The Nation


  1. It’s better to keep mute at times than be friliant,unethical attitude has dazed and overwhelmed some that they’re ignorant,and doesn’t know the time to talk or not,must they always comment to all posted topics?

  2. for how long we Nigerian will continue to live as an ignorance for everything that is happening to our great Nation Nigeria. Can’t we Nigera think that everything that is happen is cause by the hands of the enemy which are also in power in the Government creating conflict to the masses with mr. President. Boko haram are political weapon collaboration with ASUU (academic staff university union) to… distory the good leadership of mr. President. If we watch what is happening to Nigeria today and compare to a korean movie Title YI-SAN then we all will know where the causes is coming from. While mr. President is thinking on solving the problem on Nigeria, his opposing party are creating more disease to Nigerian to the extend these disease have become pandemic to our great Nigeria, causing lost of living and life which lead to life threaten to those living in Nigeria and parentalhood because of the different enverionment student are now living, putting fear to every family. Why did they think they are ruler than other rulers, which they fully know that they are the cause of every problem that is happen to our great Nation Nigeria. Yes tis true that mr.president has the power to command and to take immediate action to rid off those behind these commotion. For instant, have we think of the reason why God do not distory we humanity immediately we comit sin, He which has the power to distory this world still yet He look over us and said the time is not yet for distruction. Are we going to vote for people who do not need peace rein in our Country and for person who is ruling our graet Nation Nigeria. Tis time for we to say no to those who do not need peace in our country, which are ready to cause more problem just to be in power. For how long will the violet people rule us. Is time to say no. For they come up in different way just bcause they are in control of one quarter of Nigeria Economic, Agriculture, finance, social wellfair join with the collaboration of other resources in Nigeria. We donææt have to be decieve by their tricks of politices. Let stand for the right person and defend Him to the ending. Let say no to violet ruler.

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