With an advisory committee on national conference without ‘no-go areas’, President Jonathan appears set to give the task of remaking Nigeria to the citizens themselves. But many of them insist that government must give the confab a free hand to operate
By JULIANA UCHE-OKOBI
Since his national broadcast on October 1, 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan has kept many tongues wagging along the line of keeping the Nigerian project going. Nigerians, to some reasonable extent, appear united in tackling the nation’s challenges from the root, in trying to keep pace with the President who on Monday, October 7, inaugurated a 13-member presidential advisory committee set up to fashion out the modalities for the much sought-after national conference.
These 13 members, who have been variously called the 13 wise men include Femi Okunrounmu, chairman, who was a senator for the Ogun Central senatorial district from 1999 to 2003; Akilu Indabawa, secretary of the committee and a political aide to Jonathan; Ben Nwabueze, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and a professor of Law, who later withdrew from the committee on health grounds as well as Funke Adeboye, a professor of History, University of Lagos.
Other members of the committee are George Obiozor, a professor of International Affairs and former ambassador to the United States; Khairat Gwadabe, former senator that represented Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; Timothy Adudu, former senator from Plateau North constituency; Tony Nyiam, a colonel who was part of the failed attempt to oust the military government of Ibrahim Babangida in 1990; Mairo Amshi; Dauda Birma, former minister of education from Adamawa State and Abubakar Sadiq, former minister of tourism, culture and national orientation. Buhari Bello and Tony Uranta, a public affairs analyst, are also on the committee.
To allay fears expressed that the Presidency might influence the choice of issues to be discussed, Jonathan clearly stated that …
Source: TELL Magazine – News