Former Minister of Finance under Buhari/Idiagbon regime, Dr. Onaolapo Olusegun Soleye, Thursday in Lagos advised that the 2011 general election be shifted to enable the country hold a Sovereign National Conference.
He reasoned that holding 2011 general elections without a nationally acceptable restructuring involving constitution amendment, electoral reform, and reduction in the cost of running governments, among other necessary remedial measures will amount to elongation of the countryâ€™s social and political woes.
Consequently, he called for immediate convocation of a national conference where such issues as the type of federation for the country, size of government at all levels, number of political parties, appropriate electoral system, among others should be discussed.
Dr. Soleye who made his views known while delivering a public lecture titled â€œNigerian Democracy on the Last Lapâ€ at Afe Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka at an event organised by Faculty of Social Sciences in conjunction with the institutionâ€™s Sociology Department.
In attendance were stakeholders in the teaching profession, politicians and religious leaders.
Notable among them were Secretary-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Lateef Adegbite, the chief Host and vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Adetokunbo Shofoluwe, the woman who wrote the National Pledge, Prof. Felicia Adedoyin, Ambassador Yinka Jodda, the covener, Prof Adebayo Ninalowo, ProfÂ Adele Jinadu, Drs. Ndukaeze Nwabueze, Franca Attoh, Funmi Bammeke, John Oyefara, among others.
The host and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Olatunde Makunju in his opening remarks recalled that the events of the past 80 days in the country due to leadership vacuum, the resultant â€œDoctrine of Necessityâ€ and â€œthe heat generated therefrom are indications that our democracy remains fledgling, ten years onâ€
According to Dr. Soleye, â€œwith genuine goodwill on the part of all stakeholders, it is possible to have a solution even if it may involve an arrangement that will shift the next general election a little forward without necessarily extending the tenure of all the arms of government.
â€œ Nigeria has capable legal and constitutional experts to provide acceptable arrangement.
â€œIn any case, a 2011 election without a nationally acceptable restructuring involving amendment of the constitution, a new electoral system and process, revenue allocation formula, etc. will simply elongate the deplorable situation earlier mentionedâ€, Soleye said
He maintained that Nigeria has degenerated into a terrorist nation but not in the sense of American classification, saying that the country cannot hold election without killing while religious terrorism is prevalent in some parts of the country.
He noted that â€œCertain remedial steps must be taken now to ensure redirection of the last lap in order to arrive at an acceptable democratic destinationâ€.