By John Abayomi, Online Editor
After decades of agitation for a sovereign national conference, President Goodluck Jonathan during his 53rd independence anniversary broadcast announced the setting up of the National Conference Advisory Committee with Dr. Femi Okurounmu as Chairman and Dr. Akilu Indabawa as Secretary.
The committee also has eleven members.
According to the federal government, the term of reference for the committee include; drawing up of a feasible agenda for the proposed national dialogue, making recommendations to government on structure and modalities for the dialogue, recommendations on how to determine representation from different interest groups, time frame for the dialogue, legal framework and procedures and options for integrating decisions and outcomes of the confab into the constitution and laws of the nation.
Following the announcement, there have been divergent views by eminent Nigerians, political parties, socio-cultural organizations, ethnic nationalities and the general public: While some see the constitution of the advisory committee as a step in the right direction, others opined the confab to be diversionary, time wasting and will eventually go the way of the constitutional confabs by Abacha and Obasanjo’s administrations.
Vanguard invites its readers to join the debate:
What is your opinion on the convening of the national conference? Should it be a sovereign confab? If yes, what are the modalities and structure for the confab, in view of the present elected government? If no, should the Dr. Femi Okurounmu-led advisory committee be given a chance? What is your opinion on the committee’s terms of reference? Is the one month time frame to submits its report adequate?
Also, do you have a paper or presentation on the convening of a national confab or on issues that affect your community, tribe, state, region, socio-cultural organization such as restructuring, revenue allocation, state creation, local government autonomy, roles for traditional rulers etc.
Send your papers, presentation, articles to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for publication.