Problem Of Nationality Is Hindering Nigeria’s Growth – Pat Utomi

A former presidential candidate in Nigeria, Professor Pat Utomi, has stressed the need for the ‘problem of nationality’ in Nigeria to be addressed, in order for the country to progress. progress.  

At a session held on Sunday, organised by a group called “the 150 Million Nigerians for Change”, Professor Utomi, expressed belief that the proposed national conference would address the issue.

“We know that something is wrong and any people who find a problem must look at how to solve these problems. And this thing is clear to any serious observer, that part of the Nigerian challenge and the reason Nigeria is not where it should be is that there is a problem of nationality which takes away some commitments to building the Nigerian nation,” he said.

The Tricky Part

Also at the meeting, organised to look at the challenges that the proposed national conference could solve, were other eminent Nigerians among whom are,  the leader of the Oodua Peoples Conference, Dr Fredrick Fasehun and a member of the Presidential Advisory committee on National Conference, Mr Tony Uranta.

Dr Fasehun said the proposed conference would create an opportunity to build national trust and define a glorious future for Nigerians.

Looking at the challenges the conference could also pose for the nation, he said: “We have always maintained that whoever brings this dream into reality will have his name written in gold. But the tricky part is how to manage this initiative.

He, however, lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for initiating the conference, saying “the president, through this initiative, has won himself a well-deserved place in history”.

Alams Deserves To Be Pardoned For His Role In Amnesty – Tony Uranta

The Executive Secretary of the National Summit Group (NSG), Mr Tony Uranta, has condemned the widespread criticism that has greeted the pardon granted to the convicted former Governor of Bayelsa state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, saying the man has admitted the crime he committed and has served his time for his conviction.

Speaking on our breakfast television programme, Sunrise Daily Mr Uranta, stated that the former governor who has remained a prominent Ijaw leader, played a prominent role in the prevailing amnesty that has restored peace to the Niger Delta and therefore deserves the pardon.

“Alamieyeseigha contributed enormously to the on-going amnesty in the Niger Delta and every Nigerian is currently benefitting from because via the increased crude oil production that has doubled after the amnesty” he said.

“He played a great role in helping to keep peace in the country and he done his time in prison” he added.

Minority card

The Presidential ally also drew the ethnic sentiment when he asked that “should Alamieyeseigha not be pardoned because he is a minority?”

He further asked why there is no similar brouhaha over the other beneficiaries of the pardon that came from other major tribes in the country.

“Why the focus on Alamieyeseigha when coupists are amongst those that were pardoned?”

The National Council of States, headed by President Jonathan on Tuesday granted state pardon to Mr Alamieyeseigha and other ex-convicts including Major Genral Oladipo Diya, Major Bello Magaji, Mohammed Lima Biu, Late Major General Abdulkareem Adisa (Post Humous), Major Segun Fadipe and former head of the Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama.

According to Mr Uranta, the military coup plotters engaged in a higher level of corruption than the convicted former governor because they truncated the nation’s constitution to enrich their pockets.

He also asked why there was no similar uproar following the pardon granted to the first Speaker of the fourth republic, Mr Salisu Buhari, who was pardoned by President Olusegun Obasanjo just hours after his conviction.

Mr Uranta also recalled that former President Obasanajo was also granted pardon after he was convicted and sentenced to death for an alleged coup plot.

The social commentator urge all Nigerians to respect the decision of the National Council of States, emphasising that it was not a decision reached by the President on his own.

“If all former Chief Justices, former Presidents and all serving governors sat down and decide that these people deserve to be pardoned, then I think we should all respect that.”

Still Amendment of 1999 Constitution: Focus on Single term tenure

An overwhelming criticism was what greeted President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposal of a single term for elected officials shortly after his election in 2011.

A divergent reaction of standing ovation was what was recorded when a political scientist, Prof Isawah Elaigwu made a similar recommendation when he called for a single term of five years for all elected officials with the incumbents, not benefiting from the policy.

The professor made the call at the recent  Senate retreat on Constitution Amendment.

The newly appointed Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Matters, Dr Doyin Okupe joins our panel of discussant which include Mr.Tony Uranta and Senator Magnus Abe to talk on the single term policy and other germane issues to be addressed ahead of the fourth amendment of the 1999 Constitution.