June 23, 2009

No war in Nigeria to warrant amnesty—Dafinone

By Leke Adeseri
LAGOS—Second Republic senator, David Dafinone, has declared that the situation in the Niger Delta does not warrant amnesty.

Senator Dafinone who was speaking during the public presentation of his biography, DAFINONE : An Uncommon Life, written by Udu Yakubu, said there was no war in Nigeria to warrant the Federal Government grant of amnesty.

“Amnesty can only be granted when there is a war; the face-off between the military and the militants is not a war,’’ Dafinone said.

The octogenarian however urged President Umaru Yar’Adua to amicably resolve the conflicts in the Niger Delta and handle the militants as a father.

On the state of the nation he said, “I am particularly sad that Nigeria has not reached the height we thought of when we were young.”

For close to 10 minutes, he held the book close to his chest, saying, among other things, that he believed the Nigerian state could be governed differently.

The senator in the second republic stunned his listeners with not just the soundness of his mind, but also a youthful look which will easily pass for a man of 60.

Speaking to Vanguard, he reaffirmed his membership of The Patriots, the group of elder-statesmen that submitted a draft constitution to government recently.

He reiterated what the group told members of the National Assembly during the attempt to review the constitution, saying  “we told them that more than the fact that it establishes a democratic form of government, it is the democratic process through which it is adopted that essentially defines the character of a constitution as a truly democratic one.

Speaking about his father, the Senator’s eldest child, Igho, told Vanguard:   “He taught me that when you are rendering service to people, you must ensure it is an ideal service.

“When you want people to pay you well, you must do their job well. He expects you to try, even when the task is tough.”

On the family’s representation in the Guinness Book of Records that quotes the Dafinone family as a family of Chattered Accountants, Igho said “it was a combination of luck and discipline as taught by our father.”

The biographer in his earlier remarks said:  ”The story of Dafinone proffers vivid and valid answers to several disturbing questions about the possibilities of success regarding Nigeria as a contemporary project.”