Civil society groups set agenda for confab
AHEAD of the forthcoming National Dialogue, Civil Society Organisations have declared support for the initiative, even as they have articulated an agenda for consideration.
The organisations under the aegis of Civil Society Partnership for Development in Nigeria (CSPDN) brainstormed and passed far-reaching resolutions on the issues ranging from corruption to good governance.
A communiqué issued at the end of their meeting, signed by the CSPDN National Chairman, Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje stated, “CSPDN articulated several points, which they considered very critical for the continued existence and progress of the country.
“We are concerned about the widespread corruption in the country, injustice and violation of laws; fundamental rights, gender equity and protection of children and vulnerable groups; citizens’ participation in governance; peace and social security, as well as health and human capital development.
“Others are: youth mobilization, involvement in governance and political violence; transparency and equity in resource allocation; removal of immunity clause, which protects some public officers in criminal matters; effective implementation of federal character to be inclusive of residents of every state and merit-based appointments across the country; review of the country’s governance structure, among others.”
Commenting on the proceedings of the meeting and selection process of civil society representatives, Chairman of the Communiqué Drafting Committee, Mr. Austin Osakwe, described it as transparent and urged other sectors of the economy to learn from them.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Community of Oyo State (MUSCOYS) has distanced itself from the resolution of the Yoruba leaders, saying they are not representing the overall interest of the Yoruba people.
Addressing a news conference in Ibadan, the Chairman of the Muslim Community, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, said that those parading themselves as Yoruba leaders are not their leaders.
“The so-called Yoruba leaders, gallivanting all over the place, are at best Christian Yoruba leaders.”
“How can you talk of Yoruba leaders in Yoruba land where at least 70 per cent of the population are Muslims without a single Muslim in their midst,” Sanni wondered.
He wondered how such Yoruba group would leave out personalities like Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Kola Daisi, Prof. Daud Noibi, Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun, Dr. Jubril Martins-Kuye, among others, from the proposed Yoruba Constitutional Conference group.
He said that those championing the proposed Yoruba constitutional conference through a nebulous Yoruba agenda should be regarded as “Yoruba dealers and not leaders.”
Sanni said that the public should disregard any resolution coming from the group, as they were not serving the interest of the Yoruba people let alone the Muslim community in the Yoruba speaking states.
On the forthcoming national dialogue, Sanni said the Muslim community concurred with the resolution of its parent body, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), which had described it as another jamboree.
He said since such conference was not sovereign in nature, there was no way it would have legitimacy without the approval of the National Assembly.
It would be recalled that the Yoruba Constitutional Conference group under the auspices of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Coalition of O’dua Self Determination Groups (COSEG), and O’dua National Coalition (ONAC) met in Ibadan on Wednesday on Yoruba agenda.
Other conveners of the conference were Atayese, Covenant Group (CG), Afenifere Youth Forum (AYF), Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Agbekoya Reformed Society and Oodua Foundation (Diaspora).