A Sokoto-based human rights lawyer and activist, Mr. Ferdinand Okotete, said yesterday that the proposed national conference will not lead to the disintegration of Nigeria but rather make the country stronger and united. He also advocated that the resolutions reached at the national conference should not be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly.
Speaking in Sokoto, Okotete maintained that the proposed national dialogue would not lead to the break up of the country, contrary to fears being expressed in some quarters.
“You see, the problem with the human race is fear. Fear prevent people from taking a step or making decisions that will improve their lives. I don’t see true national dialogue leading to break up of Nigeria.
“In fact, it will rather make the country stronger. The only way to stop this problem is for us as Nigerians to come together and sit down to discuss in order to iron out our differences. If we sit down to discuss, we will be able to have cohesion and reduce friction in the polity,” he said.
According to him, the way out of the quagmire is for this national conference, as the conclusions reached would be reflective of the views of Nigerians.
Okotete opined that the selection of the delegates for the national dialogue should be broad and all-encompassing; pointing out that the representatives should be chosen by the people on ethnic and tribal basis.
He stressed the need for the over 250 ethnic groups in the country to be represented at the national conference rather than selecting delegates on the basis of geo-political zones. wHe also emphasised that the resolutions reached at the national dialogue should be subjected to people’s referendum, adding that it should not be vetted by the National Assembly.
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