Published On: Fri, Oct 18th, 2013

Group Opposes to National Assembly Ratifying Proposed National Conference Deliberation

By Oghenekevwe Laba
Group under the aegis of Conscience Report has opposed the recommendation of President Goodluck Jonathan requesting the National Assembly ratification of recommendation that would arise from deliberation from the proposed national conference.
Opposing the recommendation in a statement signed by the Eneruvie Enakoko, Tunde Adetula and Papa Siakpereon behalf of Conscience Report team made available to Urhobotoday, the group argued that the President and the National Assembly either do not know what they are saying or they simply misfired because the National Assembly or even the Government of Nigeria itself is not really the sovereign.
According to the statement, “ The true sovereign is the Nigerian people, for as the constitution says in section 14, subsection 2a; “Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this constitution derives all its powers and authority.” It did not say that sovereignty belongs to the Government of Nigeria. As a result, we would have the President and the National Assembly know that they are only first among equals and that they hold power only in trust for the people; for without the Nigerian people, they are nothing.”
The statement maintained that Nigerian people certainly do not need a National Conference whose work must be vetted and validated by any part of what they described as moribund status quo.
They pointed out that whatever comes out of the proposed National Conference, if it did eventually holds must only be ratified by a referendum of the Nigerian people, adding that anything short of that would be unacceptable and the idea of national conference might just as well be forgotten.
“More vitally important is the fact that the President and the National Assembly must be reminded that if the structure of Nigeria as presently constituted is that good, and if they who are in government have been governing functionally, there would be no need for a National Conference, and the Nigerian people perhaps won’t be calling for one.
“Therefore, we the people do not need a National Conference if its deliberations will have to be subjected to an unhelpful National Assembly that is part of a stagnant status quo,” the statement maintained.

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