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Nigeria National Conference: Too big to fail

Nonetheless, the conference should be seen as a strategic move to a robust people – driven democracy parley. Additionally, it should be noted that national…

Nonetheless, the conference should be seen as a strategic move to a robust people – driven democracy parley. Additionally, it should be noted that national conferences all over the world are broadly inclusive forums for the renegotiation of contentious state-people relationships and Nigeria should not be an exception in its quest to discuss its future based on its political antecedents particularly on the account of the reality that confront it as a nation today.
National conferences are generally peaceful and in my view, is intended launch national reconciliation and rebirth efforts or processes that will help to stimulate political activism.
Indeed participants at National Conferences or dialogue usually claim sweeping sovereign powers to rewrite constitutions and election laws in order to promote political pluralism and guarantee better protection of human rights and political freedoms.
Although national conferences in Nigeria in the past might have seemed unending, as ordinary Nigerians, we should take advantage of this initiative as a rare opportunity for us to redefine our own rules of political engagement and to take full ownership of our political futures. 
It is instructive to note that Ethiopia in 1991 conducted a national conference and came out with far reaching a peoples constitution in 1994 with a clause that creates a two-tiered federal structure, which, at least in principle, emphasized ethnic groups’ rights and the right to self-determination which are necessary ingredient for a stable democracy. The national conference should facilitate a deep-rooted and inclusive democracy where all minorities are protected. Irrespective of the outcome, a referendum that would provide for a thriving and inclusive local democracy is necessary to secure the interests of all local peoples and not only the political elites and representatives of the people at the discourse. 
Orovwuje is the Founder, Humanitarian Care for Displaced Persons, Lagos

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