By Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
THE submission of the Report of the Presidential Advisory Committee
on National Conference marks another milestone in our march towards
building a better and more cohesive society for us and our children. In
spite of the circumstances of the birth of our country in 1914 and the
several challenges of Nation building, Nigerians have in the last 53
years demonstrated the belief that our diversity notwithstanding, we are
a nation with great potential. The task before us is to build a strong
and united union. In the last few decades, there have been issues that
have challenged our determination as a people brought together by God in
this great land of promise.
This Committee was therefore
inaugurated to advise Government on a framework for Nigerians to review
and discuss these challenges and proffer a sustainable way forward as to
how we could build a nation where our citizens could live in peace and
achieve their greatest potential without any hindrance whatsoever.
As I said during the inauguration of this Committee, this
administration stands for a stronger and more united Nigeria and shall
do everything within its powers to practically pursue this noble goal. I
thank you Mr. Chairman and other members for your commitment,
resilience and dedication to the service of our fatherland. I commend
you for the timely and inclusive manner, in which you carried out your
assignment. You have no doubt, contributed significantly to the process
of building a stronger union of the Nigerian family.
Chairman, I am delighted that the Committee consulted widely in
compiling its report and recommendations, reaching out to various
socio-political and economic interest groups. I am told that majority
of Nigerians who participated in the Interactive Sessions that you
conducted in 13 major cities across the country, expressed agreement
with our commitment to an indissoluble, united and stronger Nigeria. I
understand, however, that one person demanded an outright dissolution of
our federalist structure. In order to meet the yearnings of Nigerians
and provide our people the platform they desire, Government will study
this Report and act on its recommendations.
always comes with challenges defined by the prevailing political,
economic, social and cultural mood of the people. We cannot ignore such
challenges; rather we must realistically address them. As our
founding fathers did, we must appreciate that we are one large, diverse
family, under God, and take steps to understand those variables that
militate against our unity and aspirations to build a better society,
and confront them with collective determination to move forward, thereby
making our diversity, our source of strength.
democracy is still young and for us to provide life’s abundance for our
people and play a noble role in world affairs, we must nurture and
cultivate correct democratic values. The proposed dialogue offers this
unique opportunity for us to deepen our democracy and strengthen our
Nation, rather than to destroy or weaken our union. I would like to
assure all Nigerians that we will partner with all stakeholders to
convene this dialogue, which outcome will add value to the process of
building a stronger, united, more democratic and stable Nigeria. This
discussion process is for the benefit of the entire Nation. Every
Nigerian, as individual or as a group, has an important role to play to
ensure its success.
Once again, I thank the Committee for a job
well done even as I express my appreciation to all Nigerians for the
cooperation given to this Committee.
• President Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan, GCFR made these remarks on the occasion of the formal
submission of the Report on the Presidential Advisory Committee on the
Proposed National Conference, on Wednessday 18th December, 2013.
CREDITS: Guardian Nigerian