In this interview with Network Africa on Channels Television, Senator Okurounmu dismissed the idea that the National Conference would clash with the role of the National Assembly. He said the national dialogue rather seeks to correct the lapses in the workings of the National Assembly.
Reeling out the committee’s terms of reference, Senator Okurounmu reiterated that contrary to the belief of some Nigerians, the committee has been well accepted and the concept of a National Conference has been well embraced by many Nigerians in all regions.
He also spoke on his committee’s rowdy session in Edo State “the mere fact that we did not get an endorsement from Governor Adams Oshiomole does not mean that we did not get an endorsement from the people of Edo State. That is the important thing about this conference; it is a conference of the people, by the people and for the people of Nigeria.”
He referred to Governor Oshiomole’s stance that much would not come out of the conference as a statement that is politically motivated. “His party had taken that position, so everybody in his party was obliged to take that position. But unfortunately for him, his party’s position which he expressed was in complete conflict with the position of his own people.”
In this very illuminating interview, Senator Okurounmu spoke about the National Political Reforms Conference, NPRC, convened by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, the Pro-National Conferences (PRONACO) alleged to have been funded by Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu.
In his reaction to the scepticism expressed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader about the National Conference, He asked “would Tinubu say that a year ago? Would he say that 2 years ago? Would he say that when he was funding PRONACO? Why was he funding those PRONACO conferences – Conference of ethnic nationalities, if he was already satisfied with Obasanjo’s CONFAB?”
On the Federal Government’s sincerity, he said “many presidents have been there who refused to convene it, we agitated before them, and they refused. Now we finally have a president who has consented that now we can have a National Conference.”
“You don’t reject an opportunity to take something you have been looking for, for more than 2 decades just because you think the man (President Jonathan) may have some other motive. You grab it, whatever his motives may be, as long as what he is offering you is in your own interest.”
Enjoy the interview.