Insecurity: Implement 2014 Confab Report Now, Delegates Tell Buhari
The Federal Government has been urged to have a rethink and consider the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference in order to tackle insecurity and other myriads of challenges confronting the nation at the moment.
Three delegates to the conference, who spoke in separate interviews with Daily Independent, also believe that the report of the conference, which was convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 will go a long way to reducing the disunity and sectional agitations in the country as well as save Nigeria from disintegration.
Those who spoke with Daily Independent are Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere national leader; Comrade Joe Okei-Odumakin, president, Women Arise, and Senator Anthony Adefuye, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
While handing over the report to President Buhari in 2015, Jonathan who said he couldn’t implement the report due to shortness of time, had said the document if implemented will help smoothen grey areas in the polity.
However, in an interview he granted in 2016, President Buhari said the conference report is for the archives and has refused to implement it since then.
It would also be recalled that before now, the current Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, had at several fora called on President Buhari to implement the report of the conference. He has, however, been silent on the issue since his appointment over a year ago.
Speaking on the significance of the 2014 conference, Adebanjo said if President Buhari is sincere about finding solution to the killings in the country, then he should consider the report, which, according to him, is the panacea to the myriads of problems confronting the nation.
He argued that a return to the 1960 constitution and consideration of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference would help in the desired restructuring of the country and its return to federalism.
Adebanjo, who said that the report was a by-product of the articulated deliberations of the 492 delegates to the conference, added that the composition of the conference was a true reflection of the country’s structure.
He said rather than consign the report to the archives as President Buhari has done, he can remove certain aspects he is not comfortable with and add certain things he feels will be better for the country rather than dumping the report in its entirety.
“We discussed restructuring at the 2014 national conference and we considered all laws that were in existence in Nigeria. There were 600 resolutions and we agreed to return to status quo. The only challenge is that President Muhammadu Buhari put aside the recommendations.
“If he (Buhari) is serious about addressing insecurity in the country, he has no choice than to implement the report. If he is serious that this country must not break under his rule, then he should implement the report”, Adebanjo said.
Also speaking, Okei-Odumakin, who was a delegate to the conference alongside her late husband, Yinka Odumakin, said the refusal of the Federal Government to implement the recommendations has been a major setback to the country.
She said, “The refusal of the Nigerian government to implement the recommendations of the 2014 national conference has been a major setback, in the quest for solutions to the myriad of our national challenges.
“Today, we live in a country that has become dangerously polarised along religious and ethnic divides, which were some of the key areas, where the conference made far-reaching recommendations, towards its solution.
“The question of true federalism remained unanswered despite all the promises of the president and his political party before being elected in 2015. Any serious government committed to finding solution to many of Nigeria’s problem, majorly created by the refusal to restructure the country, must consider the recommendations of the national conference, which in my opinion, has the capacity to address some of these challenges, to a reasonable extent”.
Echoing their views, Adefuye said the report of the 2014 confab, if considered, will solve most of the problems in the country today.
“If the present National Assembly can access the conference report and dialogue on it, it will solve most of Nigeria’s problem. If you look at that conference, most decisions were unanimous”
“I am not saying everything that is within there should be implemented. But I am very sure that 99 percent of the things there, if implemented will make Nigeria a better place to be”, he said.