National Dialogue: Apologies to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu – Wale Adedayo

Published:31 Jan, 2014


I was among those at the forefront of castigating Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu when he voiced opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Conference. Tinubu did not mince words in describing the proposed gathering as a Greek gift that’ll bear no useful fruit. But, along with others, I argued otherwise. And forcefully too.

We felt it was the first time a sitting president would on his own without any prompting from known agitators agree that Nigeria’s component units sit at a round table to chart a new course for the polity through a workable constitution. More importantly, Jonathan picked a cerebral former General Secretary of Afenifere, Senator Femi Okurounmu, as chairman of the committee to prepare a road map for the conference. That sealed it for us given Afenifere’s long held position that the ethnic nationalities, which make up Nigeria must return to the negotiating table as they did before independence to fashion a new constitution for the country.

Okurounmu was not just another Afenifere scribe. He had a pedigree. Apart from serving as a senator on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) (1999 – 2003), he carved a niche for himself as a staunch proponent of a Sovereign National Conference. A scholar and a person many of us considered a deep thinker, we had no doubt he’d not disappoint. We said so in so many words in several places using different platforms to confront those who did not believe in the conference. But we now know better.

With developments arising out of Okurounmu’s work thus far, I want to admit that we missed it. Jonathan sold us a dummy. And Okurounmu disappointed us in his old age. And I wonder what these old men are leaving behind as legacies with the decreasing distance between them and their graves. How will Chief Adekunle Ajasin feel? What’ll be the position of Pa Solanke Onasanya? What kind of words would Senator Abraham Adesanya reserve for Okurounmu, who for whatever it is worth has put a final nail in the coffin of whatever little respect the average Yoruba has for Afenifere?

A National Conference is a veritable admission that the foundation of a polity has given way. It is the shortest route to dismantling that polity without the chaos and casualties of a civil war – and putting the humpty dumpty back again before detractors get to know what is happening. And that can only be done as it was in the beginning before Nigeria got her independence from Britain – our different ethnic nationalities MUST sit and discuss the basis of the Nigerian union.

Any National Conference without the ethnic nationalities as primary participants remain a mere talkshop. It cannot work. It will fail. It is also a wrong position to have a National Conference submit what it arrives at to the National Assembly. A genuine gathering to change the current constitution should have the National Assembly and two-thirds of the state Houses of Assembly giving a go-ahead to the National Conference that whatever it comes up with is final and binding as articles of faith in running our affairs as a nation. That is what we were expecting to happen in this instance, not a return to the same circle of political actors who brought us to this sorry state – a patient cann ot treat him/herself.

It appears Tinubu, with his many shortcomings, is better at seeing deeper than most of his critics as I am one of them.

There is hardly anything an average Yoruba wants than a restructured polity in today’s Nigeria with its flawed federal structure. Of course, genuine South-South patriots – not militants turn merchants – want the same thing. But this Jonathan CONference has turned out a 419 project to get mainstream Yoruba behind his re-election bid. It is now clear the whole charade is political 419. And Tinubu said this earlier. But we did not listen. Instead, we hurled abuses in his direction. Those of us on this side meant well for ourselves, and our people. But we appear too romantic in our reasoning and arguments. And I don’t think that is bad because we desperately want things to work despite all the visible obstacles. So, any little sign of light proving the end of the tunnel is here, we rush there with joy. But in the case of this Jonathan’s CONference, my sincere apologies to Tinubu. He got it right. We missed it.

– Wale Adedayo

Views expressed are solely that of the author

  • Adeoluwa

    So what NEW things did you see that changed your mind? These factors that you pointed out are not new. They are the main issues that we have always had against the said confab.

  • omotola kehinde

    We have a lot of money to waste as a nation to all political appologist and associate.this is one of the avenue to spend wastefully.

  • Gbenga Ade

    To add salt to the injury, the resolution of the CONfab would be sent to National Assenly for deliberation and approval, this is the same NA that has been deliberating on 1999 constitution since 2003, what another ways of wasting our time. It can work, noting good can come out of this government.

  • ahjarn

    It is rather very unfortunate, resources that could be utilised for something meaningful to the ordinary man, who is not salary earner and who know nothing but farming for subistance and petty trading is going to be wantonly spent in an effort that is worthiless, what a wasteful venture!.

  • ahjarn

    It is very unfortunate, resources that could be utilised for something meaningful to the ordinary man, who is not salary earner and who know nothing but farming for subistance and petty trading is going to be wantonly spent in an effort that is worthiless, what a wasteful venture!.

  • Adediran Muftau Abiodun

    It is pathetic that as much as the issue of National Conference is important to the oneness and unity of Nigeria,GEJ is joking with it via its composition.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Group Urges EFCC To Probe NASS Over Budget Padding

A group named 'Conscience Nigeria', on Monday in Lagos, urged the EFCC to investigate the leadership of the House of Representatives over alleged N40 billion budget padding.   The Executive Director of Conscience Nigeria, Mr Tosin Adeyanju, made the plea during a peaceful protest at the Lagos office of the EFCC.   He called for the immediate interrogation of the principal officers of the House fingered in the allegation.   The former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, had named himself and...

IPOB Raises Alarm Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Life In Kuje Prison

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised an alarm over Nnamdi Kanu’s life in Kuje Prison.   The IPOB in a statement on Monday signed by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, accused the Federal Government of trying to kill Kanu in prison.   The group disclosed that Kanu’s room in Kuje Prison was teargased on Monday and gun shots fired in his direction.   According to IPOB, the federal government and the DSS, through their prison authority and warders in charge...

Zaria Clash: Court Declines To Grant El-Zakzaky Freedom

A Federal High Court, Abuja, has declined the application of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, seeking his immediate release from detention by the Department of State Service (DSS). El-Zakzaky is the leader of Shi`a Movement in Nigeria. Justice Okon Abang, the vacation judge, who declined the application, had in the past one week refused the applications of Rep. Abdulmumini Jubril’s house planned suspension. The others were application from his kinsmen seeking stoppage of the appointment of the Managing Director and commissioner into NDDC...

Man Arrested For Impersonating Movie Star, Defrauding Fans

A 23-year-old man, Sylvester Onakpobe, has been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly impersonating a Nollywood actor, Michael Ifeanyi, on social media and defrauding his fans. The suspect was nabbed by operatives attached to the Maroko Division in Victoria Island following a petition filed by the action on August 17. He was alleged to have used the actor’s name and photograph on Facebook to collect huge sum of money from unsuspecting persons under...

“Kill Rats And Make Money In Lagos” -NGO

In a bid to avert incidents of Lassa fever and other vector-borne diseases in Lagos State, a non-governmental organisation, Phosguard Fumigant Limited, in partnership with the state government, has introduced a bounty, ‘Kill rats, make money.’ Under the project, rodents in the state will be bought by the NGO after they had been killed using hi-tech chemicals and equipment that would make their decomposing bodies non-infectious, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. The Chief Executive...

Riot, Attempted Jailbreak At Kuje Prison

A riot broke out at the Kuje Medium Prison located in Kuje on the outskirts of Abuja on Monday morning with prisons officials barely settling down for official duties. A top prison official was quoted as saying that the crisis broke at about 10.30am from one of the blocks and spread to other blocks within the facility. As at the time of filing this report, the official who asked not to be named because he was not...

Lawmaker Orders The Arrest Of 2 Men For Criticizing Him On Facebook

According to Abubakar Aminu Ibrahim, a House of Representatives member, Hon. Ali Madaki representing Dala Constituency in Kano State allegedly ordered the arrest of Kamalu Salisu Jibril and Adamu Salisu Yalwa from Dala Local Government for criticizing him on Facebook. Looks like the men were arraigned before a court because about an hour ago, Ibrahim posted some photos and wrote: 'At the court. They must be free"...   Read story here: 

Kuje Prison Riot Under Control, No Inmate Shot- NPS

The FCT Controller of Prisons, Mr Daniel Odahro, on Monday confirmed there was a ‘minor riot’ by inmates at the Kuje Prison. “There was a minor riot at the Kuje Prison, but the situation has been brought under control,” Odahro told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja. He explained that a ‘disagreement’ ensued at about 10.30am on Monday, when some inmates resisted...

Woman Jailed For Allegedly Stabbing Her Husband To Death In Ibadan

An Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Monday ordered the remand of 35-year-old woman, Doris Kanung, in prison custody for allegedly stabbing her husband to death. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Oladiran, said that the court lack jurisdiction to try the matter. He said that the accused should be remanded at Agodi Prison pending the outcome of advice from the office of Director of Public Prosecution. The plea of the accused was not taken.

22% Of Children Under Five In South West Suffer Stunted Growth- UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) raised fresh concerns in Monday over the prevalence and effect of malnutrition in the South-West geo-political zone of the country, stating that 22 per cent of children under five years in the zone have stunted growth. The UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, gave the figure in an opening remark at a media dialogue organised by the UNICEF for select journalists in some states of the South- West.

Kaduna Proposes Life Imprisonment For Rapists

The Kaduna State Government has proposed life sentence for rapists in the new Child Right Bill forwarded to the State House of Assembly for passage into law. Deputy Director, Civil Litigation in the state’s Ministry for Justice, Mr Irimiya Samson, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna. Samson explained that the development became necessary, following incessant cases of rape, particularly of minors, being recorded daily in the...

Photographer TY Bello Returns To Music, Drops New Single

After a brief hiatus, Singer and Photographer Toyin Sokefun-Bello, better known as TY Bello, is making a return back to music. She's released a new single titled Land Of Promise (It is well). A comforting song with a sound that resonates across humanity itself. In her own words, she writes. "I finished writing this song on my travel to the destroyed parts of Northern Nigeria. I saw first hand what it means to lose hope and how powerful and...

Afe Babalola University Prohibits Smartphones on Campus, Twitter Users react

In a new notice released on the 28th of August 2016 via the website of Afe Babalola University, fresh and returning undergraduate students for the 2016/2017 Academic session were briefed on new rules, including the ban on smartphones. In their words, "Mobile Phone ; The University would allow students to use telephone but limited to non-smartphones. Any TELEPHONE aside the University’s specification, inclusive of TABLETS or IPADS shall be CONFISCATED and the Student shall be SANCTIONED"

Married Airport Worker Dies After Sex With Girlfriend In Her Lagos Apartment

A clearing agent, Mr. Sikiru Olanrewaju, has lost his life after leaving his wife and children at home to have fun with his girlfriend in the Abule Egba area of Lagos State. PUNCH Metro learnt that 37-year-old Olanrewaju died shortly after having rounds of sex with his lover on Surulere Street. The lover was said to have raised the alarm which drew the attention of residents, including the landlady, who reported at the Oke-Odo Police Division. The victim’s corpse was deposited in...

Julius Agwu Dismisses Brain Surgery Rumours

Popular comedian Julius Agwu was rumored to have undergone a brain surgery in some sections of social media today. His manager, Bishop, has dismissed the rumors, stating that the 43-year-old survivor of brain surgery in 2013 only went for a medical checkup in London, United Kingdom during the weekend. His words: "That's not true. It's nothing serious. Julius just went for a checkup. He was grounded on routine visit to the Doctor on Friday because he hadn't been having enough...

Six Storey Building Collapses in Abuja, 5 Casualties Involved

A six story building which is under construction has collapsed in Abuja. The building, a projected world class hotel, located at 444 Crescent, Citec Villas, Gwarimpa trapped a number of construction workers estimated to be numbered about 5 when in collapsed this morning. Meanwhile, efforts are on ground by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA to rescue the trapped victims.

Port Harcourt lawyer Ken Atsuete Murdered by Unknown Gunmen

A popular Port Harcourt lawyer, Barrister Ken Atsuete, has been murdered by armed assassins at his residence in the Rivers State capital. Reportedly, a number of armed men apprehended the lawyer around 8PM on Sunday before shooting him several times. Ken is a counsel to former chairman of the Asari-Toru LGA of Rivers, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, before his untimely death.

Ondo APC Headquarters Splashed With charms, Deji of Akure Fumes

The entrance of  the All Progressives Congress (APC) party secretariat in Akure, Ondo State was laced with assorted charms as stakeholders of the party were said to be in loggerheads. The diabolic items were discovered on Sunday night and hasn't been removed as of the time of filing this report,  blocking people - who believed they will be harmed by the charms - from accessing the secretariate. Meanwhile, the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, Odundun II,...

Man Sets Wife, Son, Daughter Ablaze Over Property

A 43-year-old teacher, Gbemisola Edward, and her 11-year-old daughter, Dolapo, have been confirmed dead at an Ogun State hospital after suffering from severe burns. The woman’s husband, Joshua, was said to have poured petrol on her, their daughter, and his seven-year-old son, Samson, and set fire on them. It was learnt the incident happened on Thursday on Augustine Street, Ire Akari Estate, in the Ifo Local Government Area, Ogun State, after a disagreement between the couple.

Enugu Herdsmen’s Attack: Senator, Others Call For State Of Emergency

Angry voices have continued to rise over last Thursday’s attack, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Ndiagu Attakwu community in Nkanu-West Local Government Area of Enugu State that left a seminarian and a woman dead, and three others critically wounded. With the reported death of the second victim of the attack, the Councillors’ Forum, an association of former and current Councillor’s in the state has called for an immediate ban on grazing in the state. Speaking to newsmen shortly after...

Saisia: Nigeria Should Pay Me My Money And Let Me Go

Former coach of Nigeria U23 Eagles who won bronze at the just concluded 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, Samson Siasia, has blasted the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and Sports Ministry over the non payment of his salary. Speaking on his quitting as coach of the team, Siasia said today: "This is not really resignation; my contract was arranged to end with the Olympics. And so the contract has ended. "What is very important is that I get every kobo that I...