Former ABSU VC and ABSIEC chairman urges National Assembly to revisit 2014 Constitutional Conference report

Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa

By Achiever Peterson 

A former Vice Chancellor of Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu and chairman, Abia State Independent National Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, on Wednesday, November 28,2023, told the National Assembly to revisit the report of the 2014 Constitutional Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan to address most of the challenges in Nigeria.

According to him, the advice became necessary because implementing the report of the Confab would solve many of the problems currently facing Nigeria.

The ex-ABSU VC stated these in Abuja while delivering his keynote paper at the 3rd annual public lecture series, induction and conferment of honorary doctorate degree of the African School of Diplomacy and International Relations, with the theme, "The Political Economy of Nation-Building: The World's Unfinished Business."

A major highlight of the event organized in collaboration with Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom (UK), was the conferment of the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Global Leadership and Strategic Management on the Lead Pastor of The Transformation Church in Abuja, Rev Sam Oye, and Honourable Doctorate Degree in Social Justice and Human Rights on an activist and chairman, Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Dr. Nastura Ashir Shariff.

Mkpa said, "One of the most near-successful efforts in Nigeria’s history of nation-building that would have successfully arrested most, if not all the stumbling blocks towards the nation’s unsteady match towards nation-building, was the National Conferences of 2014. That conference made landmark recommendations, which, had they been implemented, could have accelerated the tempo of our nation-building efforts. The recommendation addressed the critical obstacles to nation building.

"What chances do we have of re-enacting the implementation of the these resolutions, the initial process of which was truncated with the arrival of the previous Buhari-led administration?

It is my belief that the present National Assembly can, and should pick up the pieces and re-commence the process of re-engineering the implementation of those properly articulated resolutions. 

"We urge the National Assembly to approve the commencement of the implementation of those resolutions without delay. It is my earnest prayer that Mr. President awill accent to the proposal when it comes to him from the National Assembly and so direct the commencement of the process of implementation of those recommendations. Many Nigerians are of the opinion that the implementation of those resolutions holds the master key to the acceleration of the process of real nation building in the country."

He said the military coup in some African countries were the effect of unfinished business of nation-building in those countries, adding that the Nigerian leaders should use the 2014 Constitutional Conference report to right many wrongs. 

Oye who called on the nation's leaders in the country to be selfless, blamed politicians for the various challenges encountered in the electoral system. 

The cleric said, "No nation will develop if the leaders don't listen to the people and the solution to Nigeria's problems will come from Nigerians. Our leaders should stop playing God. It's time for our leaders to start listening to the people. 

"The answer to the problem in the Niger Delta is in Niger Delta, not in Abuja; the answer to the problem in Okirika in Rivers, is in Okirika and not in Abuja. 

If we rejected colonisation, which is externals coming to rule us, why should we submit ourselves now to Abuja ruling other parts of the country when elites without grassroot experience begin to make decisions over the lives of people who are on the ground without visiting them. 

"So, I think that the way forward in Nigeria is to sit down and talk with the people. If we talk with the people, we get answers to the problem from the people. 

"Today also reminds us that in 2014, Nigerians sat down and came up with a document on the way forward for our country; we need to go back and listen to what we all agreed on and that is the way forward," Oye emphasized.
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