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

Richard Tayo: Stellar Hypocrisy On Show: Letter To Senator Ben Murray Bruce

I am particularly compelled to write you this letter sir knowing that the Senate is currently riddled with plethora of controversies that your 'Common Sense' campaign is yet to address. Your 'Common Sense' crusade have addressed almost every prevailing situations in this country save that of the Senate. Reason I can't just help but remind you of the stellar height you have taken hypocrisy to. Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground....

Rahaman Onike: Saraki And His Running Battle

The latest disclosure by the embattled senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki that his current travail was a price he has to pay for opposing muslim-muslim ticket when APC as the ruling party was to decide its presidential/vice-presidential candidates sounds  like a belated excuse. Assuming he has raised the allegation ab initio probably it might have received greater public sympathy. The media boost given to the assertion notwithstanding, many Nigerian still find it difficult to believe his untoward...

Zayyad I. Muhammad: The Youths in the Boko Haram Conflict Region

There are quite a number of young people in the Lake Chad region (Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad)...

Olawale Rotimi: Violence in Nigeria; Causes, Effects And Solutions

Violence in Nigeria in its various forms has evolved over the decades; from use of traditional weapons, charms and hamlets, violence in Nigeria has taken sophisticated dimension. Political, electoral, religious, ethnic/tribal, cultism and other forms of violence are dominant in the Nigerian society, at varying degrees. Each region in Nigeria has its peculiar form of violence; in northern Nigeria, religious violence and extremist attacks is peculiar, in the South-South, militancy is popular and like...

Liam Hemsworth Takes Miley Cyrus To Lunch With His Parents

Miley Cyrus was pictured spending some quality time with boyfriend Liam Hemsworth & his family. The couple was seen walking together as they arrived to meet with his family in a restaurant in Byron Bay, Australia. After the lunch, she joined Liam's sister-in-law/Thor star Chris Hemsworth's wife, Elsa Pataky for a shopping trip. See more photos below...

Father Beats His 17yr Old Son Silly In Boxing Match As Punishment For Skipping School

An unnamed American father has come up with a form of 'discipline' most parents will be hesitant to apply. A video posted to Facebook shows the father challenging his teenage son to a fight after learning that the lad walked out of lessons without telling him. He then proceeds to pummel the precocious young man leaving him a bloody, sobbing mess. The video has gone viral garnering nearly 1.5million views.

Colombia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

A top court in Colombia has officially legalized same-sex marriage in the country. Same sex couples who were already allowed to form civil partnerships, are now permitted to get married just like other heterosexual couples.  This new law places Colombia as the fourth country in Latin America to legalize same sex marriages. Argentina was the first Latin American country to take the step in July 2010 before Brazil and Uruguay followed suit.

Prince’s Sister Tyka ‘Walks Out Of Meeting As Family Gather To Discuss Estate’

Prince's sister Tyka reportedly stormed out of a meeting as the family gathered to discuss the late singer's £200million estate. Prince passed away last week without a will and a bank has now been appointed to manage his assets. It is thought the Purple Rain superstar's fortune will be divided between his sister Tyka and half-siblings John, Norrine, Sharon, Alfred and Omarr. US gossip site, TMZ reports that Tyka met with Alfred and Omarr in Minnesota on Thursday. After...

Navy Declares Suspected Pirate, Charles Parker, Wanted For Alleged Hijack Of Oil Vessel

The Nigerian Navy has declared one Charles Ekpemefumor, also known as Charles Parker, wanted for alleged hijack of MT MAXIMUS off Cote d’Ivoire waters on Feb. 11, 2016. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the Director of Navy Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe. It said investigation so far conducted by Navy operatives had identified Charles Parker as the mastermind of the hijack of the vessel. It said the notice became necessary following Parker’s refusal to honour an...

Death Of Doctors, Blow To Healthcare Delivery – Ngige

Sen. Chris Ngige ,the Minister of Labour and Employment, on Thursday in Abuja described the death of six medical doctors on Kaduna –Abuja road as a blow to heath service delivery in Nigeria. The message is contained in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment. The statement said that Ngige expressed his heartfelt condolences to the president and members of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) over the loss. ``I received with great shock the news...

PDP NEC Zones Party’s Chairmanship To North-East

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) has zoned the party’s chairmanship position to the North-East geo-political zone. The National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the NEC meeting held at the party national secretariat. Sheriff said that the NEC received the report of the Zoning Committee presented by its Chairman, Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom. He said that the committee’s zoning recommendation was unanimously...

FG To Build Hostels For IDPs In 24 States

Mr Ifiok Abia, member of the Presidential Flood Relief Rehabilitation Committee, said the Federal Government will build hostels for Internally Displayed Persons (IDPs), in 24 states affected by floods. Abia made this known while presenting relief materials to flood victims in Akwa Ibom in Uyo on Thursday. According to him, the Federal Government will also build 10 solar-powered boreholes for the IDPs. ``Already, work has begun on some of the boreholes in some states while some have even been completed'', he said. . Abia...

Senate Invites Security Chiefs For Update On Fleeing Terrorists In North East

The Senate has invited the country's security chiefs to brief it on the activities of fleeing terrorists in the North East to prevent the spread of terrorism. The summon followed a motion by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) on the recent attack on Nimbo Community in Enugu State by persons suspected to be herdsmen. Sen. Utazi who relied on a point of order to make the matter an issue of public concern, prayed the Senate to approve his seven-prayer motion.   "There...

Ekiti NMA Buries Three More Doctors, Driver Amidst Tears

Emotion ran high on Thursday during the commendation/funeral service for three more medical doctors from Ekiti State and their driver at the Nigerian Medical Association’s secretariat on Ado-Iyin road. The four were among six doctors and a driver that died on Sunday along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway on their way to the Annual Delegates Meeting of the NMA in Sokoto. Those given the last honour were the late Dr. Atolani Adeniyi, Senior Health Officer with the Ekiti Hospitals Management Board; the late Dr....

N23bn Bribe: EFCC To Arrest More INEC Officers, Bankers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to arrest more officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and election monitors that received various bribes in the N23bn funds from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The PUNCH had reported on Thursday that the EFCC had arrested the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, for handling $115m for Diezani in the build-up to the presidential election. Okonkwo was alleged to have helped in...

Jonathan Shared Ecological Funds To PDP Govs – Oshiomhole

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of favouring state governors elected on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, during his regime. He specifically accused the former President of doling out N2bn from the Ecological Fund to each of the PDP governors without considering giving same to governors of the All Progressives Congress. Oshiomhole made the allegation while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting state governors had with President...

BoT Members, Others Shun PDP NEC Meeting

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party became more visible on Thursday as majority members of its Board of Trustees, National Caucus and others stayed away from its National Executive Committee meeting which was held in Abuja. BoT members and others were said to have been angered by the decision of the national leadership of the party to hold NEC meeting without following due process. Traditionally, NEC meeting is held after both the BoT and the National Caucus of the party...

Buhari’s Reactions To Herdsmen Killings Shocking – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for his reaction to increasing attacks and killings by herdsmen in several states in the country. Soyinka in an address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism on Wednesday said he was shocked by the President’s claim that the attacks would soon be over. He added that comments made by the President and the government fell short of expectation and did not provide any reassurance for Nigerians.

Bayelsa Speaker Bows To Pressure, Swears In Opposition Lawmakers

At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, on Thursday, bowed to pressure and swore in the three opposition lawmakers after about four months in limbo. The three lawmakers inaugurated at the hallowed chamber of the House are Watson Belemote of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, representing Brass Constituency 2; Gibson Munalayefa of the Labour Party for Ogbia Constituency 2 and Gabriel Ogbara of African Democratic Congress for Ogbia Constituency 3. At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State...

NYSC To Deploy Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses To IDP Camps Nationwide – DG

The National Youth Service Corps is to deploy medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals to Internally Displaced Persons camps nationwide. The Director General of NYSC, Brig-Gen. Sule Kazaure, made this known on Thursday while flagging-off the NYSC intervention programme at Damare IDPs camp in Yola. Kazaure said the deployment of NYSC in the camps was part of the scheme’s contribution to government’s efforts in assisting the IDPs. “This programme, which is designed to bring succour to the inmates in this...

Abacha Loot: World Bank Asks For More Time

The World Bank Access to Information Committee has asked for more time to decide on a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lagos, on how the recovered Abacha loot was spent.   Mr Olukayode Majekodunmi, the Deputy Director of SERAP, said in a statement on Thursday that the World bank had requested for additional time to respond to SERAP'S request.   The statement said SERAP received a letter dated April 27 form the World Bank requesting for additional time on...