Former Military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida
By Aisha Wakaso
Former Military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has thrown his weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement that there is no need for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), stressing that it will only delay the progress of the nation which already has issues that needs immediate attention.
Babangida who made this know in an interview with THISDAY at his uphill residence in Minna Thursday, said: “To be honest with you, I don't see a need for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) because we have got people in the National Assembly who were duly elected by the people and duly recognised as the legislative arm of the government so I don't know what the call for this Sovereign National Conference means.”
Speaking further, he said: “I commend the President because he does not share the view of a National Conference and for referring us all back to what had transpired in the past like the justice Belgore's Committee report which came up with recommendations about revenue sharing formula and devolution of power.”
He stated that recommendations from the Justice Alfa Belgore’s Committee report would have proffered solutions to most of the challenges facing the country today but for the committee's derailment with the third term agenda which led to the report been put behind.
He suggested that the Belgore committee should go back to their recommendations at the conference, take out the good recommendations and make them into bills, adding that is how it is done in developed countries.
“Just like the President has stated, it will take a lot of time besides almost everything or rather issues that people are raising now, we have been through them at one conference or the other in the past,” he said.
According to him, since 1966 till date, Nigeria has not progressed in the area of settling issues that borders around the unity of the country saying Nigeria should have gone past this level of same issues coming up when there are problems.
“From 1966 till today, we are still talking about one thing, we should have settled issues by now. In a country of over 160 million people, then you should be sure to get over 160 million opinions in any subject matter and we can't continue like this,” he said.
The former President said Nigeria had survived the civil war to various coups that almost led to the disintegration of the country, where many citizens lost their lives in the process but survived it adding that such mistakes should not be issues of discuss which might further threaten the unity if the country.