News / Africa

    Nigeria Leader to Inaugurate Dialogue Committee

    Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York, September 26, 2012.
    Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York, September 26, 2012.
    Peter Clottey
    Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan intends to inaugurate an advisory committee on Monday to develop a plan to begin a national dialogue to help resolve the country’s challenges, says Rueben Abati, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Mr. Jonathan.

    “It has the mandate to work out the modalities, the form the structure the nomenclature, the agenda for the dialogue or conference,” said Abati.  “Part of the function is also advising government on the legal proceeding that may be necessary, the constitutional action that may follow the outcome of the dialogue.”

    The 13-member committee is expected to comprise a chairman, a secretary, and 11 other members who are drawn from different segments of the Nigeria society, including the civil society, the academia and professional groups, says Abati.

    The committee is expected to submit its report in four weeks after its inauguration.

    “The purpose of this whole exercise is to address those issues that continue to cause friction within the Nigerian society.  Issues that were left unresolved by previous conferences of this nature,” said Abati. “

    Observers have questioned the creation of the advisory committee, saying previous administrations failed in 1994 and 2005 with similar efforts.  But Abati says unlike in the previous governments, Mr. Jonathan has pledged to resolve the country’s problems.

    “What is different is the commitment of the government of the day, the political will to make a difference and this administration is not going to define no-go areas for the conference,” said Abati.  “This is a problem solving unity forging exercises, and it is not surprising that the proposal has received the support of Nigerians across the various ethnic nationalities, and across social political organizations, who have said that indeed a dialogue is necessary.”

    Some opposition groups have rejected the formation of the committee saying it's yet another effort of the Jonathan administration to distract Nigerians from the government’s failures.  But Abati disagreed with the criticisms.

    “The naysayers are just individual trouble makers who are opposing it for selfish political reasons.  Because these same isolated individuals are persons who in the past have demanded an exercise of this nature, who have said this is important for Nigeria to move forward,” said Abati.

    “But now that they have been confronted with, and they have seen the administration is committed to really having that dialogue and given them the opportunity to ventilate their own opinion, they are now trying to play politics just to be seen to be contrarian as a habit.”

    Abati says the advisory committee forms part of President Jonathan’s effort to ensure the country’s unity as enshrined in the constitution.
    Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviser
    Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviseri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Presidential Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dotpoints
    October 07, 2013 2:37 PM
    I suggest according to Mr president, ee should address the causes of failure of the 1994 snd 2005 report. If not, whatever report the 13 member committee comes out with would not see the limelight.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    October 07, 2013 2:35 PM
    Unity as enshrined in the constitution indeed! The north of the country is proving the very essence of a national conference. Maybe Nigeria has become too large for itself. Some bigwigs in the country wanted a fragmented country just to make the polity ungovernable by Jonathan. Jonathan now agrees with them and they are opposing him. They introduced boko haram to spite Jonathan, but the rest of the country wants them to go settle their boko haram pet project; But boko haram is like a blackmailer - it is never satisfied, it keeps asking for more. And when those now mentoring boko haram are faced with being the sole heads of boko haram regions, will they want boko haram to continue? For the first time in his regime Jonathan has taken the bull by the horn to pass the buck back to the trouble makers. Maybe Nigeria is better off with unity in diversity

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.