Jonathan's Conference Is Same As Abacha And Obasanjo's—A Recipe For Further Injustice And Conflict

Now that Goodluck Jonathan's government has unveiled its national conference modalities, anyone who doubted my position that the proposed conference will not be sovereign, rather same as the Sanni Abacha and Olusegun Obasanjo's that failed, can rest their doubt and hope for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).

As usual, Jonathan and his government will nominate about 200 out of 492 representatives or delegates to the conference. These delegates shall defend government's position, which was already known to the working committee, thus non-negotiable. They will also use government tools to maneuver and lure other conferees to support their stance. Implying therefore, that it's a ruse; hogwash proposition that will waste time and money. Over all, nothing of substantive shift and benefit to ordinary Nigerians shall be achieved.

This wasteful measure shall or has set the stage for a continuation of demand, advocacy for a Sovereign National Conference, which is the most crucial, legal, fair and honest forum to right the wrongs of 1914, and save Nigeria based on mutual respect, understanding and agreement by the nations which were mostly forced to form the country against the wish.

In short, Jonathan/the Federal government will manipulate and control or influence more than half of the conferees. This is when considering the fact that delegates will also be nominated by the 36 states directly or indirectly; and from the national assembly and parties alongside civil society groups and other institutions. As history or contemporary evidence shows, most of these groups, fronts or organizations aren't immune to government's intrusion and influence. The story will be different if it were to be a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) that will allow ethnic nationalities to agree, collaborate and plan with the government that will have no power, and freely nominate their representatives.

My X-ray of delegates' search or nomination suggests that the same tripartite ethnic groups (Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo), which created the most states-about 25 out of 36 in a country of more than 300 ethnic groups, for themselves using military fiat ( and have misruled the country), and as tools for siphoning oil resources from Niger delta region considered minority shall dominate the conference. These groups shall be prepped into the Federal government's theory and ideology (huge sums of money shall be paid as bribe), given that they're those in charge of political and economic power (despite Jonathan being president), hence mostly benefiting from the mistake of 1914 or Nigeria (which a SNC will correct) while the rest peoples of the country are forced to suffer in the midst of plenty.

As a result of the foregoing, and power struggle between the above ethnic groups plus that of Jonathan-Ijaw (WAZOBIAGBOO-Gboo for Izon or Ijaw, though some Ijaw clans or communities don't use Gboo for come), the real problems of inequality and injustice against the so-called minority ethnic nationalities, the oil producing nations and other less privileged groups of the country shall not be attended nor resolved. Meanwhile, to demonstrate that Jonathan and his government isn't serious and will only attempt to register his name to the national conference organizers for his benefit, this conference will not create a new constitution based upon proper and fiscal federalism that has been identified by all politically conscious, reasonable and honest Nigerians to be the way forward from the country's mess, and as practiced in civilized societies. Thus the cheating, political violence and injustice will continue in the face of this conference, which failed on arrival.

To show further evidence of failure, in addition to the questionable or preconceived mechanics for choosing delegates and extreme power Jonathan/the government exercises, after the government's hijacked nomination process, and the fact that there is a no-go-area, which is the ban on discussing the disintegration of the country, meaning government already determines outcome. The white-washed decision from the conference shall be reviewed by the National Assembly. The said decision, if approved by said assembly would then be embedded into the illegal military constitution of 1999 undergoing review by the same assembly.

It will be like forcing unpurified water through dirty and unapproved government pipes into a dirty and soured pond, hoping the Nigerian-way that the end result will be clean and safe water ready for consumption, whereas such water will be dangerous to drink. It will make people sick and up to dying in exponential number. Although some may think current consciousness level in Nigeria will better the outcome, and considering that Jonathan is Ijaw or different from those who tried on wrong premise like this one and failed, it will definitely be another back to square one story. Practically nothing will change for good, where inequality, as the conference nomination will further prove exists to create equality, injustice and unending oppression which shall translate into threats against national unity, instability and threats against progress or the greater good.

Note, however, that possibility exist that severe threats of disintegration which the conference might bring due to a sense of "enough of the inequality and injustice, lies" could sway the government/conference to submit to true federalism. Although anything is possible such shift could only be set at 3.5 out of 100 percent chances. Where there come this shift, true federalism will allow for self-determination to all groups without discrimination. This includes resource control and probability for scraping or restructuring existing 36 state frameworks, similar to what a Sovereign National Conference could have done. Actual break up could also result from this conference despite government's position and threat against any discussion of such nature or actual act of breakup. It's instructive to note that there are intended and unintended consequences for human actions.

As a result, Nigerians have to be alert, yet could get the best which include disintegration out of an uncertain and chaotic environment. This is only if the people can understand the history of the country, the experiences of the different groups and be honest about solving persisting problems, crisis or conflicts once and for all to justly benefit all. It's unthinkable, indeed despicable that Nigerians keeps watching unpopular governments dictate for them their present and future life, thus postponing glaring solutions to lingering questions and conflicts.

Why must any reasonable government, which claims to have the people's mandate know the solution (SNC which will bring a new people's constitution that will work for all or peaceful dissolution) to the society's problems but continue to dodge it for certain groups' selfishness and greed? Also, why must the ruled continue to look the other way, thus praising and even granting these rogues permission to ignore best possible solutions to a more than 50 years political crisis; when would the ruled know the strength of their number, knowing that their can't be rulers without the ruled and that power is meant to come from them to the few misruling and oppressing them?

Well, any people who ignore or are ignorant of their importance, responsibility to society, their strength or power over the rulers are bound to be disrespected, exploited and oppressed. They're misruled and exposed to pestilence as endangered species. When the people know they're people, human beings and take up their responsibilities having acknowledged their strength, no politician or government, no matter how dictatorial can last playing them like chess and fools.

Given the aforementioned, and as I wrote and published in the fall of 2013 and asserted in titles such as "Jonathan's Conference is Due to his Second Term Fear-He May Break Nigeria," and "Jonathan's Conference Subject to National Assembly Review-Not Sovereign," Jonathan and his team aren't serious about solving Nigeria's problems. Time and record will prove me right tomorrow as I've been proven right today. Let me reiterate that the proposed conference isn't sovereign contrary to what some Jonathan's supporters even think it might become. It's another government jamboree aimed at buying time and wasting more billions of dollars while unemployment, lack of youths and women development, men's capacity building programs and other ills, especially corruption and ineptitude jumps to heights never seen. This conference is an attempt for Jonathan to gain favor from the public (which will be tempted to think he and those around him are serious and honest whereas they aren't) while maintaining the status quo, thus same as the late Abacha and Obasanjo's, which failed.

So it's time Nigerians, particularly the Federal government and those unwilling to loosen up so every group and individual shall become free and have a sense of belonging, appreciate and embrace the fact that Ethnic Nationality Conference or Sovereign National Conference (ENC or SNC) is great for multi-ethnic country such as Nigeria and not the Jonathan's kind. This All-Peoples' Conference has the potentiality, goodwill of uniting, strengthening Nigeria and not break it. It's time to think right and do so outside the box; it's time the peoples forced against their wishes to form Nigeria are allowed to think, discuss and agree-write a constitution that will respect and treat every ethnic group, individual equally. Such constitution and its enforcement shall make civil, human and peoples' rights become the foundation or norm on which properly decentralized government by way of a proper and fiscal federalism shall predicate.

It's time to stop the unserious political talk-shops such as Jonathan's that leads to nowhere and embrace a Sovereign National Conference or true fiscal federalism, which grants equal self-determination and holds the hope, dreams and work for a united and better Nigeria. If in the contrary, the so-called government's no-go-area, that is disintegration can't be stopped when one ethnic nation or the forced and colonized peoples of Nigeria decides to take their destiny into their hands. When they stand up and say "no; enough of the gross corruption, insincerity and incompetence; enough of the fake conferences, illegal military constitution and militarized contraption!" no human restrictions including electronic gunboats, tanks and war planes can stop the long sought freedom.

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Articles by Ben Ikari