Friday, October 4, 2013

NATIONAL CONFERENCE: Jonathan, Championing A Pre-Determined Dialogue - JACONG

The North has reacted to President Goodluck Jonathan’s plan, which was unveiled in his National Day address, to hold a National Conference, dismissing it as a ploy to score a political goal and that it has a pre-determined agenda.
In a press statement signed by their spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, and obtained by SaharaReporters in Abuja, the Joint Action Committee of Northern Groups (JACONG) which moderates the North’s political groups, cautioned Nigerians to be wary of the goals of the National Dialogue.
It expressed the view that given the current challenges confronting the nation and the administration, the most logical conclusion is that the Dialogue is being planned to achieve pre-determined and narrow political goals.
“Far from easing the stresses and tensions which pervade our national life, these goals are very likely to worsen them,” the statement said, observing that Nigeria has been down the same path in the past.
“At great expense and amidst very high expectations, the collective endeavours of many credible Nigerians were perverted to seek personal goals. This time, the excuse that Nigerians need to talk is being used to process political goals. It is a wrong move from the wrong quarters. The Presidency is not a suitable facilitator of a forum which should involve critical assessment of our polity, economy and the record of the administration itself. Its involvement in this venture will divert its attention from serious issues around governance; and divert attention of the nation from major deficits in its performance.”
JACONG noted that any effort involving leaders and communities to improve the manner our nation operates and to seek ways of improving the quality of life and security of all citizens should be welcome. It further said that leaders who are disposed towards expanding a consensus around a genuine discourse in the context of our existing laws should be encouraged.
It cautioned Mr. Jonathan, however, from wasting national resources unjustifiably, urging him to concentrate on the insecurity in the country as well as the crisis facing the education sector.
“President Jonathan will be well advised to deploy greater efforts towards improving the security of lives of citizens particularly in parts of the North which have become virtual killing fields. He should deploy stronger political will to stop crude oil theft, and achieve a visible improvement in managing our economy.”
JACONG advised that Mr. Jonathan explore the application of the dialogue option to the internal crises in his party which are creating serious tensions in the country.
“The funds that will be spent on the proposed Dialogue will be better utilized towards resolving the current crises in our education sector, which is now responsible for the closure of most of our Universities and Polytechnics,” the statement said.