A national consultation and dialogue on the political future of Nigeria, with the aim of rescuing the country from the brink of full-blown anarchy and imminent collapse, has begun.
Essentially, the intervention initiated by National Consultative Front (NCFront) and chaired by eminent lawyer and former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, is to come up with “a draft constitution for Nigerian stakeholders by October 1st, 2021”.
In a statement, yesterday, by spokesman of the initiative, Mallam Abdumajeed Saa’ad, on behalf of Agbakoba, reads in part: “As the lead chair of the historic intervention put together by citizens of conscience under the auspices of the NCFront, we state that our team of eminent Nigerians, statesmen and women, are already studying the terms of reference given to us by the initiating body and hope to sit twice per week, from the first week of March, 2021 to come up with a draft constitution for Nigerian stakeholders by the end of April, 2021
“The draft constitution shall, however, be put before critical Nigerian stakeholders and groups for national debate and dialogue as from May, 2021 after an opening ceremony which is expected to hold on 1st May, 2021 at a venue to be announced by the confab secretariat headed by Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, with support of our resource team led by Senator Mike Ajegbo.
“In the course of our national consultations, we hope to engage National Assembly, judiciary, Presidency, selected governors and speakers of state Houses of Assembly, Nigerian Governors’ Forum and key eminent elders, selected leaders of the civil society, labour, youths, women, persons with special needs, traditional and religious leaders of our country, among others.”
The statement listed some of the agenda essential to the team’s mandate as devolution of powers to the federating units, citizens’ referendum/plebiscite, local policing, system of government and party democracy, among others.”
On the rationale for the intervention, the statement said: “The present ethnic/civil strife and pervasive insecurity in our dear country, Nigeria is deeply ominous and worrisome and calls for serious concern and concerted interventions from all well meaning stakeholders and citizens of Nigeria.
“The understanding of some of us, advocates of people’s rights, is that government, which is expected to have control of monopoly of legitimate use of our state power and force is somewhat challenged and overwhelmed in dousing and curbing the heightening anarchy and insecurity in our country.
“It is for this reason and the urgent need to discourage Nigerians from pervading culture of self help that some citizens of conscience in Nigeria were compelled to initiate a major national intervention. We promise to do our best to make this historic intervention inclusive and citizens-driven.”
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