Some lawyers today said the endorsement of a national conference by Senate President, David Mark, was a realisation that the challenges facing the country needed to be addressed.
During interviews in Lagos, the lawyers said that it was important a national conference was convened in order for the country to remain a single, peaceful entity.
According to Mr Onyekachi Ubani, chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Nigeria stands to gain by organising a talk where the questions of the ethnic nationalities staying together will be honestly and unemotionally discussed.
“If the ethnic nationalities agree to stay together, then the terms and conditions for staying together will be openly discussed and agreed upon,” Ubani said.
He said that the people were the only ones capable of deciding whether to stay together or not, and how.
Ubani suggested that the conference be convened before another general elections, so as to avert conflicts and unnecessary bloodshed.
“The decision to stay together as one united nation must be made by the people themselves, so that they will appreciate why they are staying together and will surely respect it,” he said.
However, Mr Ogedi Ogu said that the endorsement by the Senate President did not, and could not in any way, translate to the National Assembly accepting the call by some Nigerians to convene a national conference.
He said that what the Senate President did was to voice his personal wish, or rather, an acceptance of the realisation that Nigerians needed to seat together and discuss on the future of the country.
To be fair to Nigerians, I do not see the National Assembly, as it is presently constituted, endorsing same, because it will amount to having two parallel bodies altogether.
“The argument is still ripe, yes, whatever a National Conference was to achieve could still be achieved by the National Assembly, if they are committed to a better Nigeria.
“After all, both amount to the different ethnic groups sending their representatives to the conference,” the lawyer said.
He urged the Senate President, in all honesty, to move a motion or a bill adopting same on the floor of the senate, if he felt it would be acceptable.