Reports have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari is likely to dump the report of the 2014 National Conference convened by the former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking with The Punch, a top government official revealed that the president was not favourably disposed to the implementation of the confab report, although during the handover ceremony on May 28 Jonathan stressed that the report was more important than his handover note.
Before the ex-president left office he had forwarded the report to the National Assembly for action. However, the presidency source said that Buhari would not implement it because he never believed in the conference. Instead, the president will stick to the recommendations of his transition committee led by Ahmed Joda.
The source also noted that the All Progressives Congress (APC), which was in opposition during Jonathan’s administration, did not take part in the conference although its leadership was formally invited.
“President Buhari never believed in the National Conference. His position is not different from that of his party, the APC, which snubbed the invitation to send representatives to the confab.
“The conference and its report are Jonathan’s babies and you won’t expect this administration to implement the report, especially in this era that all we have been doing is to try and clear the rot left behind by the same administration. The president had not even at any time made any reference to the report. It is not on his agenda,” the source said.
During his meetings with traditional rulers from the southwest ahead of the presidential election, Jonathan promised to ensure the implementation of the report if re-elected. However, he also argued that since the APC refused to take part in the conference, a government formed by the party would not implement the report.
After being elected president, Buhari took a swipe at the federal government over the conference, saying that billions of naira was spent on it.
When contacted, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the national publicity secretary of the APC, said:
“Like I said before, we will look at the document and any area that is beneficial to Nigeria and Nigerians will be considered.”
Meanwhile, Tunde Adeleye, bishop of the Calabar Diocese of Anglican Communion, advised President Buhari not to discard the report of the National Conference. According to him, the government has to study it carefully and implement those clauses that will impact well on the well-being of Nigerians.