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President Jonathan says yes to national conference

By The Citizen
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President Jonathan declared Thursday in Abuja that his Administration had no objection to Nigerians coming together to discuss how they will continue to live together in peace and unity.

Speaking after receiving a memorandum from the Patriots, led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze, on the need for a national conference, President Jonathan said that ordinarily, the issue of Nigerians coming together to discuss their future should not be out of place.

The President told the group that there has been constant discussion within government on how to create an acceptable and workable platform for a national dialogue that will reinforce the ties that bind the country's many ethnic nationalities and ensure that Nigeria's immense diversity continues to be a source of strength and greatness.

'The limitation we have is that the constitution appears to have given that responsibility to the National Assembly. I have also been discussing the matter with the leadership of the National Assembly. We want a situation where everyone will key into the process and agree on the way forward,' President Jonathan said.

He thanked the Patriots for acknowledging the Federal Government's efforts to implement his administration's agenda for national transformation.

'As a government, we are totally committed to transforming this country, Positive things are being done and by the grace of God, we will get to where we ought to be as a nation,' President Jonathan told the Patriots' delegation which also included Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Solomon Asemota,  Engr. Chris Okoye,  Chief (Mrs.) Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, Air Cdre. Dan Suleiman (rtd.), Prof. Kimse Okoko and Mr. Michael Orobator.

President Jonathan also welcomed the group's call for the moral re-orientation of Nigerians, saying that he shared their belief that ongoing efforts at national transformation and development will be greatly enhanced and facilitated by the cultivation of better national ethics and attitudes.

The Patriots had in the address presented to President Jonathan by Prof. Nwabueze, urged him to support the production of a new constitution that truly derives its authority directly from the people of Nigeria.

'I compliment you for your initiative of introducing a transformation agenda. It is what Nigeria needs. Above all things, we need to transform this country.

'It is a great credit to you that you recognize this. We congratulate Your Excellency for recognizing the need for national transformation and moving Nigeria in that direction,' Prof. Nwabueze told the President, adding that the need for national transformation was the main reason for the Patriots' continuing call for a national conference.