By GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—AGAINST the backdrop of continued call by some prominent Nigerians for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC, to address the deluge of problems confronting the nation, former National President of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, has disagreed with the agitation, saying that it would lead to the breaking up of Nigeria.
Ekiyor, who spoke with Vanguard, said: “I was a member of NADECO and I became quiet because once there is a civilian government, there is no basis for a Sovereign National Conference. We have in place legislative assemblies, members of the two chambers of the National Assembly are paid and we have an executive in place. With these, there is already a sovereign government.
“We cannot convoke another Sovereign National Conference. We can have summits, such as the Niger Delta Technical Committee, headed by Ledum Mittee, to review the challenges facing the country and come out with a blueprint that would be sent to the National Assembly for deliberations.”
Insisting that the 1999 constitution, as amended, was subject to review as many times as possible, he said, “I don’t believe that a government will agree to the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference unless it is talking of breaking up the country.”
He noted that a Sovereign National Conference could only be held if Nigerians decided that they can no longer stay together as one united nation, adding that where there was a constituted government in power with a President and Commander In-Chief in office, there can be no two sovereigns.
Ekiyor said that most of the problems facing the country arose because while the country pretended to be practicing a federal system of government, it had no room for fiscal federalism as practised in the United States of America where it was copied from.