Former President Goodluck Jonathan has again called for the implementation of the 2014 national conference report, saying it is the main method for handling the nation’s hardships.
Speaking at the public presentation of a book by Femi Okurounmu, Jonathan, 61, said his administration inaugurated the national dialogue to reconcile ethnic differences, heal old wounds and promote peace.
The conference was chaired by late Idris Kutigi, former chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
According to the former president, the implementation of the report will help the nation to make progress
“The call for reforms has continued to grow louder, gathering the kind of momentum that should no longer be overlooked, if the nation must make real progress,” the former president said.
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“I believe that the solutions to most of the problems we face today lie in our honest assessment of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference. If we take politics out of our consideration, there is every likelihood that a diligent implementation of the key recommendations of the conference will lead the nation out of the woods. This will heal frayed nerves, promote solidarity, engender peace and reposition our nation for meaningful growth and sustainable development.
“The recommendations of the conference were far-reaching in setting an agenda for peace and unity. They amply captured the solutions to the problems of today and made suggestions that will address the worries of tomorrow.”
The former president said his administration could not implement the recommendations of the conference because it did not have enough time to do so, as it was submitted less than a year to the end of his tenure.
“Then, the members of the national assembly, whose duty it was to consider and validate the process, were preoccupied with the battle for political survival,” he said.
“I believed that given the nature of the consultations and due deliberations involved in advancing the process, an orderly and systematic implementation could not have been conducted in less than one year.
“It was obvious we did not have that time before the end of my administration. I did not insist on a rushed implementation because my administration did not embark on the conference to achieve political popularity but to genuinely advance the course of nation-building.
“We assembled 492 reputable individuals, drawn from all walks of lives and shades of opinion, who emerged through a rigorous selection process, to conduct diligent deliberations over a period of 120 days. We did this not to score a political point, but to come up with ideas on how to strengthen the pillars of our democracy and build a new foundation for sustainable nationhood.”