Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday said it is high time the nation set aside political differences to implement the 2014 national confab which his administration convened.
He said his government could not implement the recommendations of the confab because of time constraint as the 2015 electioneering had reached its peak.
Jonathan spoke in Lagos during the public presentation of a 669-page book, titled: “The Dream: Pursuing the Black Renaissance through the Murky Waters of Nigerian Politics,” written by notable politician, Senator Femi Okurounmu.
Jonathan also advocated for the institutionalization of the appointment of Chairman and members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give more credibility to the elections conducted by the commission.
The former President who conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 election said most of the problems facing the country would be addressed if the 2014 confab report was implemented.
“I believe the constitutional conference will solve our immediate challenges. My administration was prepared to change the narrative of our constitutional democracy with the assurance that sovereignty belongs to the people.
“However, we were time constrained. The conference was conducted one year to the end of my tenure. We did not have the time, even the National Assembly which supposed to validate the report was busy with political survival.
“I did not insist on rushed implementation because my administration did not set out to achieve political popularity but to genuinely advance the course of nation-building.
“My administration was prepared to change the narrative of our constitutional democracy with the assurance that sovereignty really belonged to the people. However, we were time constrained. The Conference was concluded less than one year to the end of my tenure.
“We received the report specifically on August 21, 2014, at a time the nation was already in the mood of electioneering. Then, the members of the National Assembly, whose duty it was to consider and validate the process, were preoccupied with the battle for political survival.”
Publisher of Nigerian Tribune Newspapers, Adetokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu, reviewed the book.
The book author said Nigeria should urgently return to true federalism, noting that the current structure cannot move the country forward.
“Without restructuring back to federalism, I have no hesitation in declaring that Nigeria’s development will continue on a downward path, and the state of social disharmony and insecurity will continue to heighten”, Okurounmu said.
Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Senator Anthony Adefuye; Dr. Wale Babalakin; notable businessman, Harry Akande; former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel, former group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Funsho Kupolokun, were among the dignitaries in attendance.