Lawyer and former presidential candidate, Tunji Braithwaite, has dared President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to stop the convening of a Sovereign National Conference in the country.Mr. Braithwaite made this remark, Friday, while speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 2012 Awo Memorial Lecture, in Lagos.Clamour for the convening of the conference – where tribes and ethnic groups would assemble and discuss the way forward for the nation – has gained momentum over the past few months.However, both the senate and the House of Representatives have rejected such calls insisting that the National Assembly is constitutionally responsible to handle whatever the conference intended to achieve. “All that jazz being made by the national assembly that they will not allow national sovereign conference is their own…” said Mr. Braithwaite, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Advanced Party.”They can say that, they are a product of a defective constitution, of fraudulent arrangement. If anybody tells you that elections in this country have integrity, that person doesn’t know what he is talking about.”We will hold national conference before the next election. If Jonathan likes let him buy into it, we will want him to be part of it,” Mr. Braithwaite added.Other personalities who spoke to journalists outside the venue of the event lamented the dearth of people-oriented leadership since the exit of Obafemi Awolowo.”There is no politics without the people. People will have to vote for you. ,” noted Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor.”We have to accept your programme and the welfare of the people is based upon the mission and commitment of the elected and this cannot contradict one another.”The time of Awolowo, he needed the mandate of the people even to get there, to be Premier. He got the mandate and the people followed him.Mr. Tinubu said that the present crop of leadership in Nigeria are selfish and have moved away from the people-oriented development.”What is the definition of good governance if there is no transparency, accountability, and welfare? It is about service, development, and it is consistent with what the government of Lagos State is doing,” he added.Ebenezer Babatope, a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, said that “many of our leaders are people who are not serious minded.””Awolowo was people oriented. Many of the leaders today don’t think of the people, they think of themselves, forgetting that people and people alone are the motive and prime force behind this…,” said Mr. Babatope.Bisi Akande, National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, blamed the “current leadership crisis” on lack of education.”We can’t move forward because we are growing less and less educated. We get many certificates without education,” said Mr. Akande, a former governor Osun State.
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