Is A National Conference Really Necessary?


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

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

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]