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Chief Solomon Asemota, Chairman of Ethnic Nationalities Movement (ENM) and member of The Patriots, the group of eminent professionals, has reiterated that for the unity of Nigeria and the fact that ...
Chief Solomon Asemota, Chairman of Ethnic Nationalities Movement (ENM) and member of The Patriots, the group of eminent professionals, has reiterated that for the unity of Nigeria and the fact that human beings are more important than geographical locations, Senatorial districts must be the basis for the selection of delegates to the forthcoming National conference.
Asemota, a former member of the erstwhile Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, warned that the foundation upon which Nigeria was built - Indirect Rule, Tripod mentality, etc - to provide excuse for assimilating minorities is faulty.
As such, a National Conference after 100 years of amalgamation will provide an opportunity for Nigerians to examine the past and, if honestly done, demonstrate that 1914 is a blessing not a mistake and would help to transform Nigeria from a mere geographical expression to a country which would become a nation and the giant of Africa
In his Minority Report, with attached Draft Bill to the National Assembly sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, a copy of which NigeriaCurrent got, the renowned constitutional lawyer listed the areas he considered critical to the overall success of the national conference which do not only reinforce the unity, stability and progress of the country, but are also in line with Constitutional guarantees which provide for indigenes and non-indigenes alike.
“The proposed National Conference has a specific purpose namely, to discuss and agree on the terms and conditions to be embodied in a new Constitution as the basis on which the diverse Ethnic Nationalities and peoples in Nigeria can live together in peace, security, progress and unity as one country under a common central government,” the Minority Report said. “This is the primal purpose of the proposed National Conference, the crux or pivot of its agenda and to which everything else is ancillary.”
Hence Asemota’s belief that the 389 Ethnic Nationalities at the Senatorial district levels should be the basis for the selection of delegates to the conference because the criterion takes into consideration, ethnic diversity, professions, gender, youth and the physical challenges spread across all the zones or region by way of consultations.
“One believes that this is one of the processes of inclusion in the politics of the nation as opposed to assimilation and exclusion,” he said.
Unlike government functionaries who say the country’s unity is non-negotiable, the report warned: “Nigerian unity is not only negotiable, but must indeed be re-negotiated for it to stand or survive the test of time. The reality over the years remains that in spite of the best efforts of all our leaders past or present, Nigerian unity is not guaranteed. It is simply, at best, an aspiration and not yet an achievement. Hence, the statement that Nigerian unity is ‘not negotiable’ is simply a historical fallacy,” Asemota insisted.
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