The National Consensus Group, NCG, yesterday said that Nigeria must be saved from imminent disintegration by all stakeholders in the country.
The group said the prevailing security situation; political and ethno-religious crisis plaguing the country, may soon lead to its eventual disintegration if nothing is done to arrest the drift. It therefore proposed to send a 10-man delegation to consult with President Goodluck Jonathan on the need for the convocation of a national conference to address the issue.
A major promoter of the group and eminent lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, said this yesterday in Uyo while delivering his keynote address at the opening session of a two-day national political summit with the theme; “Roadmap to Political Stability and Security in Nigeria,” holding at the Le’ Meriden Hotel and Golf Resort.
“A 10-man delegation, which will include two women, would be saddled with the task of delivering this summit’s communiqué to the President with the aim to ensuring that approval is given for the convening of a national conference,” he said.
Nwabueze, who spoke on the sub-theme; ‘Roadmap to Nigeria’s Unity and Stability’, emphasised that the critical problems facing Nigeria include disunity, instability, lack of progress, insecurity as shown in acts of terrorism and lack of commitment by Nigerians towards nation building.
He lamented that 50 years after independence, the country is yet to attain the status of a nation largely due to the fact that the over 389 ethnic nationalities that made up the country have not been able to integrate into one.
The constitutional lawyer berated any Nigerian who does not believe in the convening of a national conference, stressing that the problems of the country and how the different ethnic groups and political interests can coexist, depend largely on the conference.
He also emphasized on the need to address contentious issues of fiscal federalism, devolution of powers, constitutional amendment, the dissecting of the country into six geo-political zones terrorism, among others.
Nwabueze, who explained that the political summit became necessary as it was aimed at saving the country from imminent collapse, stressed that the only option available to President Jonathan was for him approve a national conference.
“We want the President to convene a national conference as a matter of urgency. We believe the President has the powers to convene a national conference. He represents the sovereignty of the country”, he said.
He, however, said that should the President refuse to convene such conference, the NCG would send a bill to the National Assembly for it to be passed into law, adding that when the National Conference bill is passed into law, it would compel the President to convene the conference.
Also speaking, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, said the solution to the myriad of problems facing Nigeria such as disunity, political instability, terrorism, ethnic bigotry, among others, lie in the Bible and the Koran.
Akpabio, who was represented on the occasion by the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, urged Nigerians to follow the words of God for a better Nigeria.
According to him; “This political summit is important because Nigeria needs to be saved from imminent collapse.” Dignitaries at the summit include a onetime governor of old Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Navy Captain Joseph Aduesi, former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, Chief (Mrs.) Josephine Anenih, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore.