The Borno State Government has given its support to the proposed national conference, promising to make its representation when it is convened.
Addressing journalists at the weekend, the Secretary to Borno State Government (SSG), Mr. Baba Ahmed Jidda, said of utmost importance to the state government was such issues, as revenue allocation and true federalism, which had been raised in previous reports of the National Reform Conference (PRC) of 2005 and in 1988; but were not implemented by the federal government.
He said: “To me as the Secretary to Borno State Government, and a former member of PRC; and 1988 constituent Assembly, there is no reason for Borno State and its citizens not to participate at the forthcoming national conference.
“Definitely, we are going to participate. Anybody, who has any issue, should fully participate without any fear or doubts. And there should be no-go areas.”
He added that the conference would make Nigerians have a sense of belonging, knowing full well that for once, we have sat, have discussed and agreed on the topical and burning issues facing the nation and its citizens.
Jidda, who said his expectation would be that the outcome of the Dr. Femi Okuruonmu-led conference would not be thrown into the dustbin, said: “But what makes me unhappy is to make reasonable important; and knowledgeable people come together, discuss, submit a report and you ignore it, and not fully implement it as demanded by the people.”
On previous national conferences, where some of the topical issues facing the nation and its citizens were resolved, Jidda, a former Nigerian ambassador to Burkina Faso, said: “We made very good reports on the previous National Conferences. The only thing we did not accept at the PRC, was the third term, mooted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005.”
He urged the people of the state to make inputs on the recommendations of the National Conference, adding that: “Even though I do not know the intention of the National Conference, the chairman of the conference committee and a dozen other members; are credible people that will not fail the people of this nation.”
Speaking on the legality of the conference, he said: “In a democracy, we need to sit down at a round table conference together; and support it, as long as it is not a Sovereign National Conference (SNC). If you say, SNC, there will be issues of legality, because we have a National Assembly in place at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. So, if it is just a national conference, so be it."
There are issues that need to be discussed at that national conference, slated to hold in each of the six geopolitical zones.”
He, however, counselled that: “If the issues are to be transformed into law for instance, or constitutional amendment, you now forward it to the National Assembly for ratification or subject it to a referendum of the people.”