A conference of geriatrics
By Chris Okotie
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan spent the first half of his Presidency opposing a Sovereign National Conference; but surprisingly, went on to convene one in the twilight of his first full term, though with a clever side-tracking of the contentious word, “sovereign”. So, here we are with a National Conference even if not as empowered as most would have wished.
Our history of constitutional conferences dates back to the colonial times; ever since, almost all Nigerian leaders had, at one time or the other, convened their individual versions of national conference. Most of the delegates to Jonathan’s conference are veterans of the past conferences that didn’t produce any radical, or at least, positive change in the polity. Otherwise, we won’t be having this one.
That is also why many have questioned the involvement of these senior citizens in this current conference. A delegate has said that the average age of the delegates hovers between 65 and 70 years. This underscores the geriatric propensity of this administration. For a government which anchors its programme on a Transformation Agenda, one wonders why it chooses to look back instead of looking into the future. The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, once said, “The past is dead and buried.