Second Republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa has said that the national dialogue proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan should be for Nigerians and not for ethnic nationalities.
Speaking with in an interview, Musa, who has been an advocate of national dialogue, said contrary to the opinion of some groups, Nigeria is made up of citizens and not ethnic nationalities.
He said, “What we have to accept as a fact is that the vast majority of Nigerians, in spite of the negative state of the nation, want Nigeria to remain united. They do not want the disintegration of Nigeria; they don’t even want confederation. We want a united Nigeria and power should be shared in a way that encourages unity and development.
“Some people are saying the national conference should be a conference of ethnic nationalities. They believe Nigeria is made up of ethnic nationalities, but that is wrong. Nigeria is not made up of ethnic nationalities. It is made up of citizens”.
On the existing controversy that a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, Mr. Solomon Asemota, SAN, wrote a minority report, the elder statesman said any report outside the report submitted to the President by the Femi Okurounmu-led committee, was irrelevant.
“The report of anybody now is irrelevant because the only report, which is relevant, is the report of the presidential committee. The committee was mandated to recommend a modality for conducting the national conference. So far, Nigerians are not interested in what the committee says but they are interested in what the President says, because it is the President’s committee”, he said.
Musa said from his stand point, the plan for the national conference was still on course and should not be tampered with.
Reacting to the plan by the Ethnic Nationalities Movement and The Patriots to convoke a parallel conference on ethnic nationalities to foreshadow the national conference, Musa argued that the move could not be faulted as it was part of the democratic process which allows for all groups make their inputs.
He said, “We must respect fundamental human rights. The minority, who want the national conference to be based on ethnic nationalities, are saying they want to hold their own conference on ethnic nationalities, before the national conference. That is alright, they should be allowed to do so. You can argue for or against, but you can’t deny them the right to do that. In democracy, they say the majority has its way, but the minority has its say”.