Jonathan vows to implement outcome of national conference

President Goodluck Jonathan

The president said the National Assembly will be asked to act on the recommendations of the conference

President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to act on the outcome of the planned national conference, by forwarding the recommendations to the National Assembly for legislative action.

Mr Jonathan said Tuesday the outcome of the talks will be useful for the ongoing constitution amendment.

Mr Jonathan stated this in Abuja on Tuesday when he received members of the Muslim community who paid him Sallah homage at the presidential villa.

The remarks were his second in two days as he sought to dispel fears expressed by critics that his government lacks the sincerity and the capacity to implement the outcome of the conference.

The president urged politicians to stop utterances that incite and instigate hate, saying the dialogue process must lead Nigerians to talk with a direction and not dissension.

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“In Nigeria, we must work very hard; we must talk to ourselves the way that our children will not develop hate amongst themselves. And that is one of the key reasons that we decided to have a conversation as a nation,” the president said.

“At times, when you listen to radio and read the papers, you see even our elders that are supposed to give us leadership quarrelling over nothing.

“(And) sometimes, even insulting themselves and even making provocative statements that will sometimes instigate one group against the other.

“We decided that we cannot continue that way; the talking must have a direction. What has been happening on the pages of the newspapers are discussions that have no direction.

“We want a country that will have a direction, so the discussions must have a direction.

“The discussions must lead Nigeria to where we want to be, not a divided Nigeria, not a Nigeria that is sown on hate.

“Also not a Nigeria that will be based on acrimony, ethnicity and tribal sentiments in the way we conduct ourselves.

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“That is a reason we set up that committee and we have given them the free will.

“Some people are still instigating others that the president is doing this, the government does not have the capacity to do that.’’

Mr Jonathan, however, assured “that government is totally committed to doing what is right.’’

The president further reassured that his administration would implement the reports of previous committees set up by government on National Dialogue.

He said some of the reports had already been submitted to the National Assembly for further considerations.

“Even the Justice Uwais’s committee that was set up, that report was passed on to the National Assembly in 2010.

“We brought Belgore and others and I said in 2005 Nigerians discussed some things; why don’t we begin to implement some of them.

“So, we need to come up with some bills in those areas we have agreed and we will push them to the National Assembly.

“Of course, some of those bills have not come out from the National Assembly, but we believe that even in the constitution amendment that is going on, some will be useful.’’

The president, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to impress it on their representatives in the National and State Houses of Assembly to work together and ensure the proposals were enshrined in the constitution.

He thanked God that in spite of the challenges facing the country, the Muslims were able to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir.

He urged Nigerians to inculcate in their children the virtues that would encourage unity in the country to ensure that the coming generations lived in peace.

“We must build a Nigeria that wherever you go you call the next person your own brother or sister,

“A Nigeria that our young children who will become adult will say that I am proud to be a Nigerian, not a Nigeria that people will kill them probably because they don’t recognise them.

“The killing has been going on in some parts of the country; it has nothing to do with religion and ethnicity.

“That is why I asked those who killed those 50 students if they even bothered about their religion our ethnicity?

“It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with ethnicity, it is because the world generally is experiencing terrorism.’’

Earlier, Vice-President Namadi Sambo thanked the President for his guidance and leadership in ensuring political stability in the country.

He also thanked him for the planned convocation of the national dialogue which he said, would unite and move the nation forward.

Mr Sambo had performed the two Raka’at Eid-El-Kabir prayer along with some members of the Federal Executive Council, service chiefs and many others at the National Sallah praying ground, Lugbe, Abuja.

Speaking to newsmen after the prayer session, Mr Sambo enjoined Nigerians to continue to pray for the peace and progress of the country.

The Acting Chief Imam of National Mosque, Ibrahim Makari, led the Eid-El-Kabir two-raka’at prayer at the prayer ground.

He later slaughtered a ram there to signify the religious ritual in line with the teaching of the Holy Quran.

(NAN)

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