National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for setting the modalities for Nigerians to talk about their future.
He said the decision to organise a National Conference was a bold step by the Federal Government to address the numerous problems facing the country.
In a statement, Adams also declared that the Conference was an opportunity for Jonathan to write his name in the sands of time and make himself a hero in the history of Nigeria.
The statement reads:“I want to commend the action of President Goodluck Jonathan over his decision to convene a National Conference to discuss the issues that have combined to stunt the growth of our country.
“I think we should praise President Jonathan for setting up a committee for a National Conference. I sincerely believe that the conference will proffer solution to most of the problems that have prevented the country from developing. I am also convinced that most of the problems that we are going through as a nation can be addressed by the conference
“And I am very sure that the conference would go a long way to address most of the problems besetting Nigeria. At the conference, issues like the Boko Haram, how we would live together and how to move our nation forward would come up for discussion.
“For instance, the conference would avail all the component units that make up Nigeria to state its own case, why they are angry, their demands and how to actualize the dreams of our founding fathers.
“I sincerely expect this conference to find a lasting solution to the mistrust among the ethnic nationalities. The bulk of the problems besetting us have their roots in the mistrust among the ethnic nationalities. So, these ethnic nationalities will have the opportunity to state their cases, hoping that the problems would be addressed
“However, I also want to advise the committee to be very careful with the job they have be given. They should see this as a national service and a call to serve fatherland. More importantly, I want to advise the committee to learn from the mistakes of the National Political Reforms conference set up by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005.
“The failure of that reform effort can be traced to some of the mistakes made, either intentionally or unintentionally by the committee. Therefore, this committee should avoid such pitfalls that may lead to its failure.
“This is a big challenge to members of the committee. I would advise them to be committed and faithful to their oath of office. Whatever they come out with at the conference would go a long way to affect the future of this country, so let all Nigerians begin to pray for the success of the conference, because the decisions that will come out from the conference will go a long way into healing most of ills affecting us.
“The committee should also ensure that it does not allow itself to be used by selfish political elements to attain selfish goals. They should not allow political figures outside or within the government to hijack discussions at the conference at the expense of the people of Nigeria, as doing this would definitely lead to the failure of this great task before them.
“And for the president, let me seize this opportunity to advise him to ensure that since he has found enough courage to set up this committee, he should also be courageous enough to ensure that he does not allow his own personal desire to influence whatever decision that would be taken at the conference.
“As we approach the 2015 general election, let the president be honest enough to differentiate his ambition from the activities of committee. We should remember that the alleged third term of President Obasanjo played a huge part in the failure of the national political reform conference he convened.
“Let President Jonathan know that this is an opportunity for him to write his name in the sands of time and make himself a hero in the history of Nigeria. The success or otherwise of this conference would go a long way to ensure this, and I call on the president to take the path of honour by allowing the committee do its job”.