You Cannot Legislate A National Conversation – Legal Practitioner

Channels Television  
Updated October 24, 2013

A Legal practitioner, Ismail Ahmed, has said that he does not think the National Conference, as proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan, should hold as it is not possible to legislate a conversation which has been on-going for many years, in public places.

“I don’t think we should have it,” Ahmed said. “Personally, I think this government has made a reputation out of creating unnecessary committees. About 70 committees so far in the last 3 years and nothing has come out of it.”

Ahmed, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, was of the opinion that a conversation which Nigerians have had in their homes and schools for many years cannot be made into law.

He raised doubts that the Goodluck Jonathan Confab would make any difference from the last Conference initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Echoing the opinion of a public affairs analyst, Mr Bola Bakare, who was on Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, Mr Ahmed stressed that the Conference timing was inappropriate. He said that it was too close to the 2015 elections.

The legal practitioner posited that President Jonathan should have added the idea as part of his transformation agenda in 2011.

The time at which the initiative is coming to reality is wrong, he stressed.

Although many have criticised President Jonathan’s clause which mandates that recommendations from the National Conference would be verified by the National Assembly, Mr Ahmed opined that it is reasonable since “we are running a constitutional democracy”.

“The President cannot do as he pleases, even though most times, he does, but in this case he can’t. So, it would still have to go back to the National Assembly.”

He supported the argument raised by Mr Bakare that the time given to the advisory committee to present a report to the president is too short.

He said it would be better if the committee would begin work after the 2015 elections with a new government in place.