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Most confab delegates are PDP members – Kawu

The country is set for the national conference convened by the president, we’ll want to know your view on it…From my on understanding and belief,…

The country is set for the national conference convened by the president, we’ll want to know your view on it…
From my on understanding and belief, there is nothing wrong for Mr. President to invite people to come and discus and advise him on certain national issues. It is good, even though we have the National Assembly which is empowered by the Nigerian constitution to make laws. If Mr. President or Nigerians think that they need something from some people, it is a welcome idea.
I am supporting it, although it won’t stand as a law unless and until it passes through the National Assembly. We’re waiting for them to discuss, and we hope that something will come out from the discussion, which I doubt very much.
Why the doubt?
From the nomination of the people, the timing and the huge gap between the leadership and followership in Nigeria, what I understand is that there is lack of confidence between Nigerians and the present government. Therefore, they cannot convince people on their sincerity or commitment to the existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. People are in doubt, and their actions or inactions are that they’re not much concerned about the feelings of Nigerians. So, I think they will not achieve much.
We’re approaching elections time, and most of the nominees from the federal government are card carrying members or supporters of Mr. President in one way or the other; they’re in various organisations supporting 2015 or Mr. President. Therefore they’re there to protect and promote the interest of PDP. As a result, I think we cannot achieve what we hope to achieve.
We have 493 delegates nominated to the national conference by different groups, how do you assess them?
It is lopsided. Nigeria is a cosmopolitan society, so you need to do a lot. That is the reason why we have a federal character law. The sophistication of the people and the current tension on ground make Nigerians to be vigilant on what is going on, especially at the centre.
The nominations are lopsided and exposed what PDP and the federal government are canvassing for and trying to achieve. So, I’m in doubt of the credibility of the whole exercise. The nominations make the national confab to be questionable and in negative perspective.
When you say lopsided, what do you mean?
With the sophistication of the people, you cannot take them for granted. There are two major beliefs in Nigeria. It is a global agitation now that you must identify yourself with your belief; are you a Muslim or Christian? Whether you like it or not, politics is local. You must be one. You know the percentage when you go to so many documents, it is internationally believed that Nigeria is 55 percent Muslims, 40 percent Christians and 5 percent non-believers.
You need to do justice in the allocation of membership to the Christians and Muslims. You must have the understanding and take everybody along; it is from there that you’ll have the good governance you’re asking for. But from our understanding, PDP and Mr. President are doing their best to divide or disintegrate Nigeria in the name of politics.
It happened in 2011, and it is one of the cardinal principles of the Jonathan government. There are nominations from the federal government, and Mr President is the leader of the government and PDP; they’re supposed to nominate 20 delegates; how can you give a certain religion 2 over 10, that is 6 when the other religion to which Mr President belongs has 14?
When you go to the zonal representations, who are the nominees of Mr. President too, when you put them together, you find out that almost 60 out of the 90 are Christians. Therefore, it is 70 and 30 percent. When you go to the elder statesmen, which is the responsibility of Mr. President, whichever criteria is used it is lopsided; Christians are 23 and Muslims are 14. It is unbelievable and unacceptable. He is using it to divide the ranks of Nigerians.
Look at what happened during Obasanjo’s national conference. When he announced the leadership of the conference, the lopsidedness was not as much as this one; it was a little bit fair, but when it came to the leadership, the chairman and the secretary, he appointed both Christians, and you could see how Nigerians reacted. He apologised then and appointed Professor Oyedele as co-chair.
I am therefore urging Mr. President and his advisers as well as other stakeholders in this conference to make sure that they correct this anomaly before he inaugurates it. If he inaugurates it, let him put it on his mind that it won’t see the light of the day, because it will come to the National Assembly where democracy is the order of the day.
Everybody is represented there, and we have the constitutional backing to stop anything, which will harm our people.
I’m urging Nigerians to be vigilant and understand what the PDP is doing. They’re doing it because of the elections. If Muslims start crying and say see what these people are doing, then they’ll say Muslims are against Christians. Each time Mr. President wants to make a serious policy statement, he’ll go to the church and do it. It is sending a bad signal to Nigeria.
There was a time that Mr. President accused the people in his government, the National Assembly, the judiciary, army and the security agencies, that there are some who are Boko Haram. He made that statement in the church. He made the statement in 2010 when the first bomb blast occurred in Abuja. Instead of him to wait for the security agencies to come up with preliminary investigation results, he was trying to say it was the Muslim fundamentalists who did it, when MEND later took responsibility.
But to God be the glory, a South African court convicted the person who masterminded the bomb blast, and here in Nigeria too. So, from 2010 to date, it is Mr. President and PDP that have been trying to use religion to divide Nigeria, which will not be a good omen to our system.
We need to do a lot. We’re practising democracy, which is a game of numbers. You only assume power through elections; any other means is null and void. I just read in the national dailies today where South South forum declared that in 2015 it is Jonathan or nothing. We too are saying in 2015, it is free and fair elections or nothing. It’s unfortunate for the South South people to go and sit down and start addressing Nigerians like that. They think that we’re cowards; we’ll see how they’ll declare fake results this time around.

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