By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—CHAIRMAN, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Mr Linus Okorie, has said the national assembly will refine the 2014 National Conference in a manner that it will foster stronger Nigeria unity and restructure the country, if the report is tabled before the Assembly.
He said the advantage of national assembly’s further deliberation on the resolutions is that more Nigerians, who did not participate in the conference, would make imputes in the resolution to either refine or redefine the report.
Okorie spoke to newsmen in an interview when the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency held a retreat in Enugu, yesterday.
He said he had personally made approaches to the secretariat of the defunct National Conference Committee in 2015 when he wanted to get a comprehensive report of the conference to sponsor it as a private member bill in order to excite attention and focus on the confab report.
Okorie said: “I feel very strongly that irrespective of every political undertone, that conference remains the best to help build a contemporary Nigeria.
“It addresses the issue that affects us today. Such problems of ethnicity, our problems of insecurity and much more importantly, restructuring and the need to restructure Nigeria.
“There is need to restructure Nigeria and you can’t run away from it. The story of Boko Haram, whether we accept it or not, the religious undertone, the issue of IPOB, MASSOB and the issue of secession by all the agitated people, it goes to the issue of the need to address alleged feelings of marginalization and being left out by the people in the South East.”
“The Issue of Militancy in the South-south goes to the issue of the feeling that the resources they believe belong to them because it is under their land are being taken away and expended in far away areas while they are not seeing development around them.
“The Issue of South West and Odudua for a Kingdom it goes to the issue that they have not gotten enough as they believe they should get. The problems in the middle belt and anywhere you go you have these discrepancies and disentanglement by breaking us into pieces and blocks that should work together effectively and give us a Nigeria that is homogenous and synergized.
“Therefore we need to address the fundamental issue of restructuring in a way that Nigerians can feel comfortable to address their fears and accept that other parts of the country mean well for them and if there are misconceptions they will be addressed in a manner that we attract them.
“If not, this will continue and the 2014 conference report still remains the best that can come closer to addressing the issues.
In any case, if that is sent to the national Assembly and becomes an issue of deliberation, it will give opportunities to more Nigerians who may not have participated to either refine or redefine wherever there are discrepancies.
“I believe that that is a very good starting point and that is the highest pedestal we can take upon and springboard the need to bring Nigeria together again before it is too late.”