TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Arewa differ on Okurounmu panel

By The Rainbow

The apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, will meet on Saturday in Enugu to harmonise the region's position on the national conference.

A meeting of the Ime Obi - the highest decision making of the body -will take the decision, Ohanaeze top officials told our reporter.

The Femi Okurounmu conference planning committee will visit the Southeast on October 29 and 30.

The committee will hold town hall meetings in Enugu and Owerri

But the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) is lukewarm to the Okurounmu panel's visit to the North, which will start with the Northcentral visits - Jos, Plateau State on October 21 and Minna, Niger State, on October 23.

ACF spokesman Anthony Sani told our reporter last night that the forum did not call for a national conference. 'Asking whether we have a position to present to them is like saying we have something in mind,' he said, adding: 'The ACF does not believe that the problem with Nigeria is the structure of the country or the pattern of governance.

'When they present the issues that they want discussed, we will reply to them accordingly. We do not believe, however, that it will solve our problems, but that does not mean that we are opposed to having a national dialogue.

'We have said it and we will continue to say it that Nigeria's problem is the loss of our moral values and sense of oneness. We do not have problems with the structure of the country and we also do not have problems with our laws. This has been our position and we will continue to say it. Are we now going to canvass for a republic with different structure or will the conference teach us how to address our lost values?

'For now, we do not have any position to present to them because we did not ask for a conference in the first place.'

The Afenifere faction led by Pa Reuben Fasoranti said it would participate in tomorrow's town hall meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), led by Hon Wale Oshun, also said it would present its position to the committee. Its position may be presented on October 31 when the Okurounmu panel visits Lagos.

However, the ARG said sovereignty lies with the people.

According to the publicity secretary Mr Kunle Famoriyo, the people's wish should not be subjected to the ratification of the National Assembly.

He said a referendum should ratify the decisions of the conference.

'Now that Nigerians have the opportunity to make the peoples Constitution, the National Assembly should have no role in it again'. Famoriyo asks: 'Why subject the people's wish to the National Assembly's dictates?' (THE NATION).