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IS A NATIONAL CONFERENCE REALLY NECESSARY?

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I read the list of delegates to the National Conference. Apart from the fact that my lecturer Dr. Mrs. M. M. Dura is a delegate and other few acquaintances, most of the delegates are old faces who have been involved in one form of conference or the other. The report of these conferences remain thrown into the siberia of history. What they should ask themselves is, what is the difference between this conference and previous conferences? Will they not be wasting their time like they had previously done? There are also people who to my mind are too old to be there. Sir Olaniwon Ajayi, Justice Mamman Nasir, Chief Edwin Clark and a host of others. Well i know we need to tap from their fountain of experience, but i do not think they should be in the fore front discussing the future of this country.

Secondly, i was disappointed to see names of some convicted com 'baptized' criminals and people who failed to deliver democratic dividends to the people when God gave them an opportunity to lead. These people remain unfit to hold any discussion that affects the future of this country. What is a man like Alamesiegha doing in the conference? I think some of the delegates to the National Conference were selected as a means of political compensation. Yet we expect them to discuss our future as a country. How laughable

Suffice it to state that i have always held the view that we do not need a National conference to make government responsible and accountable. We do not need a National Conference to fight corruption, build roads, schools and equip our hospitals with modern and standard facilities. Do we need a National Conference to create job spaces for our unemployed children? The National Conference is just another means of wasting resources and probably a diversionary tactics from pressing issues and ineptitude of government.

Sometime in 2005, then president Olusegun Obasanjo, organized the National Political Reform Conference, which was chaired by no less a person than Justice Niki Tobi. The report of that Panel remains within the walls of Aso Rock, probably covered with dust, forgoten and unimplemented. What i therefore expect Jonathan and his co-travellers to do, is to pick that report and implement it and not necessarily organizing another one.

Do i therefore see anything positive coming out of this conference? My simple answer is no. There is absolutely nothing this Jonathan's conference will discuss that has not been previously discussed. The money budgeted for this Conference can be channelled to other useful purpose. Unfortunately, this is a government where money is stolen to high and unimaginable proportion. Government should know that the people have lost confidence and remain highly disappointed with its failure to account for missing funds. Those in government have failed to be diligent custodians of our resources. Therefore instead of allowing one man pocket the N7 billlion proposed for the National Conference, let it be shared among the over 400 delegates. God bless Nigeria.

Frank Ijege
@foijege on twitter
[email protected]

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Articles by Frank O. Ijege