Lagos based lawyer, Mr Bamidele Aturu on Monday said the national conference conveyed by the federal government will not yield results that will benefit the general populace of the country.
Mr Aturu, speaking as a gues t on Channels Televisionâ€™s Sunrise Daily, further wondered â€œwhat the federal government is going to achieve by having this conferenceâ€.
â€œI am not expecting anything from this conference; given the hostility of members of the elite to the convener of the conference, particularly, the hostility of, even, the current president to the convener of the conferenceâ€.
Mr Aturu however commended the president for responding to the yearnings of the people.
He further maintained that â€œif you are going to produce a national conference that is going to produce results, that conference must be premised on certain activities by the people themselvesâ€.
â€œIf you see the history of national conferences anywhere in the world where concrete results have been produced, you will see that they were based on movement by the people to ensure that there is justice and social equity in the societyâ€ he said.
He warned that it will be disastrous if the conference ends like a mere talking shop.
He described the submission of the report(s) gathered during the conference to the National Assembly for ratification as a â€œwasteful duplication of efforts and resourcesâ€.
â€œIf want this to be serious, ensure that the outcome of this conference is taken to a referendum, where Nigerians will have a final say on itâ€ he insisted.
The human rights lawyer also maintained that the delegates to the conference have been gagged by the president for listing a no go area during the conference.
Reminded that the tone of the conference was set by the recommendation of people from the geo-political zones the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference visited, Mr Aturu insisted that the report was elitist and not people oriented.
He added that â€œif you donâ€™t deceive yourself and say there are no problems, then you will be papering over so many things and at the end of the day, people will be laughing with themselves at the conference and we will not be able to bring out those things that will cement this country together as one nationâ€.
He expressed optimism that the â€œcritical segment, very few of them, who are in the national conference, can always raise issues that will expose further the lack of ideas of the ruling elitesâ€ insisting that if he were to be at the conference he will raise issues bordering on reward system which will see the lowest earner in Nigeria earn not less than N50, 000 and public officials N250, 000.
The reward system, according to Mr Aturu will make â€œpublic office holders respect Nigeriansâ€
â€œWhen you compress the wage structure in such a way that you make it equitable, then you begin to strike at the root of rickety capitalism that we are practicing in this countryâ€.
Mr Aturu, who declined being nominated by the Civil Society Groups, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that that the outcome of the conference is ratified by a referendum, adding that the no go area(s) should be cancelled for the conference to produce a reasonable outcome that will benefit the generality of Nigerians.