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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs