After reading through the list of delegates for the Nigerian Sovereign National Conference that social justice activists including myself have advocated for many years, my assessment is that the process has been stolen from the populace. Once again President Jonathan, his administration, and the so-called ruling elite class have circumvented a program that was conceived with good intentions.
The list of delegates is made up of “All the Presidents' Women and Men,” including boatloads of the rulers that got us into these ongoing mess. The conference list also has sprinkles of some envoys that are in need of financial muzzling by the federal government.
Hence, the result is that delegates are campaigning for remunerations for their aides. These sycophants have received the golden parachute to vacation in Abuja on the national naira and kobo, excuse my ignorance because they deal and steal in foreign currencies. Rather than tackle the rights and needs of the regular people who reside in poverty amidst the opulence of a few national criminals, they are out to get theirs. What transparent mechanisms were used to elect and/or nominate these so-called representatives of the people? Whose interest and constituents do these delegates to the SNC really represent?
These are important inquires that we need to address before we allow this sham to continue in our purported name. How do they get off with congregating in the confab as representatives of the Nigerian people? As someone who has championed and written on the Sovereign National Conference, I am amazed by the levels of the 419ization of the process. Although, I foresaw and wrote about the possible co-opting of the confab by the government and ways to prevent it, my worst fears then have been compounded by the fiat of the current government that has lost its marbles. One wonders how they can effectively fight Boko Haram and the born to rule mentality of their sponsors.
Indeed the Nigerian people with their apathy and corruption have also lost their bloody minds if they standby and/or fall for this crap. How can we have agents gather in Abuja and be our so-called representatives in a land of close to 200million people based on mostly presidential appointments? The SNC should not be used as a presidential gimmick to salvage the aspirations of select individuals and their cronies. After the government used our national resources to congratulate themselves on the occasion of the forced centennial amalgamation, the least they could have done is to organize a genuine confab.
Unfortunately, our problems are still ongoing and there are major issues that members of the various nations in Nigeria need to seat down, discuss, and proffer progressive solutions for. Though my view remains that we do not need the government to assemble and my assertions have been validated by their hijacking of the SNC. Some of the subjects that need to be addressed in the real confab include the cessation of petroleum production in Nigeria, cleaning the pollution in the Niger Delta, and refocusing our economy on renewal energies due to increasing temperatures. These agendas might limit corruption in the government; improve the lives of the people; and save what is left of our environment.
Nnamdi F. Akwada MSW, BA is a Social Justice Activist
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