Nov 2, 2013

National Confab: You must listen to all views, Fashola tells committee

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state yesterday tasked the Presidential Advisory Committee on National conference/Dialogue to desist from shunning the opinion of Nigerians who believe that the conference wouldn’t do the country any good, saying “We must expect to hear from those that we like and from those that we don’t like.”

This came barely a week after the outburst between Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and a member of the committee, Col Tony Nyiam (rtd), during the panel’s sitting in Benin, Edo State.
Fashola, who made the appeal when the committee paid him a courtesy visit further advised the committee to adopt the report submitted on the 2005 National Political Reform Conference under the Obasanjo’s administration but should remove the tenure elongation agenda in it.


The governor said “When we held a constitutional conference in 2006, many areas were vigorously and passionately defended, compromised and agreed.I knew the negotiations and compromises that were made there; there were some things that were agreed, and there were some things that were not agreed, but everything was going down with a very disagreeable matter of tenure elongation came up.

So if let us go back and you know those places that we have agreed, we can put those forward and look at a legal framework; you have a learned team, let us implement the agreement first, we can come back to the disputed areas later because at the end of the day in my own view, and I have argued it before, it seems that we sometimes approximate the expectations of our people for a desire for a new constitution. And I have made the point and I would repeat it that our people do not want a better document, they want a better life and a constitution by itself will not give a better life.”

Speaking earlier, Okurounmu said: “This is what the citizens of the South West of the country had been agitating for in the last few years. And we are happy with the response we have received from the public. From our visit to the zones, it showed that Nigerians are interested in discussing issues that affect them. And they did this by expressing themselves during all the stakeholders’ forum we have held. I can assure Nigerians that we will not let them down.”