By Leonard Karshima Shilgba
President Jonathan announced on October 1, 2013 his intention to convoke a national conference at which there would be no issues excluded from discussion. He then inaugurated on October 7, 2013 a committee he charged to come up with a framework for the conference.
To those that assumed they understood the president, this committee should determine among other things the composition of delegates to the conference, the timeline for the conference, whether the outcome of the conference should be submitted to a national referendum (and how such referendum should be conducted, and how long the referendum should last) or referred to the National Assembly and state houses of assembly. In approaching its assignment, the committee is expected by Nigerians to collate views or submissions from Nigerians and attempt to meld them into a certain firm position that should be submitted to the National Assembly for passage into an act that should give some legal backing to the national conference.
On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, only 8 days after the inauguration of the conference committee, and less than 5 weeks to the conclusion of the assignment of that committee, President Jonathan was reported to have said that he “would forward the outcome of the national …