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The Senate has urged the Federal Government to forward the report of the 2014 National Conference to the National Assembly for consideration.
The resolution followed a motion on the need for national unity and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria.
The prayer was moved by Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia State) and seconded by Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Lagos State).
Recall that the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan submitted the confab report a week to the end of the Seventh Senate. However, no legislative action was taken due to time constraints.
In what is a clear indication that the 2014 National Conference midwifed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan would not be implemented, President Muhammadu Buhari had in June 2016, said the confab report is for the archives, even as the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, declared that the exercise was merely a ‘job for the boys’.
Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe State) was the mover of the motion, to which an additional prayer was added to accommodate the report of the Conference.
The development comes at a time there are agitations for secession in some parts of the country.
In his contribution, Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi State), said it was the responsibility of the Eighth Senate to consider the report.
“We are asking that those recommendations (of the confab) be brought to us. They should be implemented where necessary”.
Also contributing, Jonah Jang (PDP, Plateau State) submitted that throwing away the entire report will not help the country.
He said: “When the last administration convened the 2014 National Conference, the Seventh Senate said the conference should not have held but they did not do anything about it until now that we are now beginning to talk about the unity of this country. So, I agree that that report should be tabled before the Senate and let us look at what Nigerians want. And then we can look at the major issues that are affecting this country because I believe that Conference deliberated on so many issues affecting this country”.
Some of the recommendations of the confab include: creation of 18 additional states, systematic restructuring of the polity, rotational presidency, creation of state police, scrapping of state/local government joint accounts among others.
Last week, Richard Joseph, a Professor of International History and Politics, submitted that implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference will address the clamour for true federalism in Nigeria.
Delivering a paper in Abuja titled: “Affirming Democracy Amid Insecurity and Uncertainty”, the University Don who lectures at the Northwestern University in the United States of America, submitted that implementation of the report of the confab offered Nigeria the most effective solution to the calls for restructuring.
“There was a great opportunity in 2014 when the National Conference was held here in Nigeria. And that Conference came forward with a lot of recommendations. And so that was an opportunity which Nigerians had to discuss all of these issues relating to true federalism and restructuring among themselves and to go forward”, he stated.
He recommended what he called ‘incremental improvement’ of the institutions in place.
According to him, there was no need going back to repeat or convene another conference on the issue of restructuring.