One of the Ondo State delegates to the just concluded National Conference, Prof. Olufemi Mimiko, yesterday said the programme was not a waste of time or a diversionary event contrary to insinuations by some Nigerians.
Mimiko, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, made the declaration at a reception held for him by the management of the institution on his return from the four-month national assignment.
He said happenings at the conference revealed that Nigeria was long overdue for a forum to discuss various issues about the existence and relationship among different people and their interests.
Mimiko, who served on different committees at the conference, said the line of arguments and events at the forum showed that President Goodluck Jonathan had no predetermined agenda for the conference.
He said there was no time the president teleguided the deliberations of the conference, saying this accounted for the smooth running of the affairs of the conference.
He said rather than criticising the president for initiating the conference, he should be commended for his courage to hold the programme.
The vice-chancellor said the situation at the conference was a give and take as geo-political zones have to trade certain things in order to get another one.
Shedding light on the motive behind the creation of additional 18 states, Mimiko disclosed that some of the states were created to protect the minority in the country.
He said southern delegates to the conference supported the creation of the states, particularly in the northern part to get the support of northern delegates on some of the demands presented by the South.
He, however, regretted that the Yoruba delegation for which he served as the Chairman of Research and Strategy Team, was unable to push through the demand for regionalism.
Mimiko said though the people considered the days of Obafemi Awolowo in the Western Region, Ahmadu Bello in the north and Opara in the Eastern part when regions embarked but the proposal never sail through.
He explained that the proposal was rejected because of some people that were not ready to surrender their sovereignty in their states for a regional government.
Mimiko said the university would hold a conference on the discussion at the conference.