Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa

Academic, cleric urge NASS, Tinubu to revisit 2014 Confab report

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By Emmanuel Afonne

Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, a former Vice Chancellor, Abia State University, Uturu, has urged the National Assembly to revisit the report of the 2014 Constitutional Conference.

The academic said the report addressed most of the challenges of the country’s development.

Mkpa made the call in Abuja on Wednesday while delivering the keynote lecture of the 3rd annual public lecture series, induction and conferment of honorary doctorate degree of the African School of Diplomacy and International Relations (ASDIR).

The event with the theme “The Political Economy of Nation-Building: The World’s Unfinished Business’’ was organised in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

Some of the awardees include Her Regal Majesty, Olori Temitope Ogunwusi, wife of Ooni of Ife; Rev. Sam Oye, Lead Pastor, The Transformation Church (TTC) and Princess Chichi Ojei, 2023 Presidential Candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

“That conference made landmark recommendations which, had they been implemented, could have accelerated the tempo of our nation-building efforts.’’

Mkpa said that the country could never be great while and nation-building would become a mirage if individuals were stronger than institutions.

According to him, the military coups in some African countries are the effect of unfinished business of nation-building in those countries and Nigerian leaders should use the 2014 Constitutional Conference report to normalise things.

“One of the most near-successful efforts in Nigerians history of nation-building, that would have arrested most if not all the stumbling blocks towards the nation’s unsteady match towards nation-building, was the national conference of 2014.

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“The recommendation addressed the critical obstacles to nation building which include devolution of power, creation of state police, resource control, electoral reform, youth empowerment and fear of domination of any ethnic group.

“Others are reduction of cost of governance, transparency, fight against corruption, to inject and consolidate the ideal of nationhood into the psyche of Nigerians in the continuing effort towards nation-building.

“The conference resolved to reintroduce the old National Anthem which most of the conference attendees and indeed most Nigerians believe is more inspiring and generative of the much needed spirit of unity.

“It also enhances cooperation and harmony among the country’s disparate and multifarious ethnic nationalities,” Mkpa said.

He urged the NASS to exhume the report and ensure that President Bola Tinubu assented to it.

Rev. Sam Oye, who received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Global Leadership and Strategic Management at the event, urged leaders in the country to be selfless.

Rev. Sam Oye receiving his Honorary Doctorate Degree from Amb. Dr Tunji Asaolu, Deputy Secretary-General, African Affairs, International Society of Diplomats and Vice Chairman/CEO, African School of Diplomacy and International Relations (ASDIR)
Rev. Sam Oye receiving his Honorary Doctorate Degree from Amb. Dr Tunji Asaolu, Deputy Secretary-General, African Affairs, International Society of Diplomats and Vice Chairman/CEO, African School of Diplomacy and International Relations (ASDIR)

Oye who is also the founder and Lead Pastor of The Transformation Church (TTC), Worldwide, blamed politicians for the various challenges encountered in the electoral system.

“No nation will develop if the leaders don’t listen to the people and the solution to Nigeria’s problems will come from Nigerians.

“Our leaders should stop playing God. It’s time for our leaders to start listening to the people.

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“The answer to the problem in the Niger Delta is in Niger Delta, not in Abuja; the answer to the problem in Okirika in Rivers is in Okirika and not in Abuja.

“If we rejected colonisation, why should we submit ourselves now to Abuja ruling other parts of the country especially when elites without grassroots experience begin to make decisions over the lives of people who are on the ground, without visiting them.

“So, I think that the way forward in Nigeria is to sit down and talk with the people; if we talk with the people, we get answers to the problem from the people.

“Today also reminds us that in 2014, Nigerians sat down and came up with a document on the way forward for our country; we need to go back and listen to what we all agreed on and that is the way forward,” Oye said.

Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and Leader of the Nigerian Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele, said that unity was usually the watch word of nations that had succeeded.

Bamidele, who was represented by Mrs Shade Adepeju-Joseph, Director, Diaspora and International Affairs, Office of the Leader of the Senate, urged leaders to always meditate on the second stanza of the Nigerian National Anthem.

He said that the challenges faced in the country would have been solved by more than half, if the leaders and their followers put into practice the wordings of the National Anthem. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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