By Henry Umoru
ABUJA — AHEAD of 2015 Presidential election, strong indications emerged, weekend, that there were moves to strengthen the political structure of President Goodluck Jonathan as he plans to declare for his re‑ election bid through a group called National Unity Forum.
At the weekend, the arrow heads of the forum, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Gen. Jerry Useni; ex‑ Senate President, Adolphus Wabara; former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu; former Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Florence Ita‑Giwa, among others gathered delegates to the on‑going National Conference for an interactive dinner at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The event which had in attendance delegates from across the six geo‑political zone was, according to the organisers, designed to further strengthen the unity of the country.
Nigeria yet to evolve into nation state —Wabara
Speaking at the event, Wabara and a delegate said despite the significance of Nigeria in the international scene, it was yet to evolve into a true nation.
Wabara, who spoke on the backdrop of last Wednesday’s bomb blasts at a shopping mall in Wuse II, however, hailed President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for convening the national conference which has brought together prominent Nigerians to help proffer solutions to some of the current challenges bedevilling the nation.
According to him, “after one century of existence as geo‑political entity, Nigeria is yet to evolve into a nation state. Though it plays important roles in the international arena, it lacks the structures that present it as a developed nation.”
NUF not partisan —Ita-Giwa
Welcoming delegates to the official flag-off ceremony of the National Unity Forum (NUF), Senator Ita‑Giwa, who noted that she was impressed with the calibre of delegates and very robust discourse and issues which helped to douse the initial scepticism associated with the 2014 conference, said there was need for a post conference platform to further bond the delegates as well as consolidate on the established relationship created at the conference.
According to her, “a lot has been achieved from this forum, many of us belong to more than one forum.
This forum is not partisan. This is not a political thing and I don’t believe in any agenda so to speak.”
In his remarks, Senator Ibrahim Mantu said the quality of debates at the conference had been very impressive, adding that it provides an opportunity for delegates who have never been used to the workings of the legislature to talk and interact anywhere in the world, just as he enjoined Nigerians to always opt for cordial co‑existence among all ethnic groups as peace was a major factor for development.