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Why I didn’t implement 2014 national conference report – Jonathan

Former president Goodluck Jonathan has explained why he did not implement the report of the 2014 national conference.

He said he did not have enough time to implement the report, adding that those knowledgeable about the processes of constitutional reforms will know that to implement the Confab report, a number of alterations will be made in the constitution.

Jonathan , who stated this at the public presentation of a book ‘The National Question’ authored by Akpandem James and Sam Akpe on Tuesday, added that the alteration would require the involvement of the National Assembly and state assemblies.

He was represented by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.

The statement partly read; As the chairman of this event, I will not take too much time because I know that the guest speakers and the reviewers will have all the time to ventilate the issues. It is their day. However, I would be remiss in my duties if I do not use this unique opportunity to address this particular issue which some people continue to raise on the implementation of the Confab report.

“Whenever people say that I should implemented its recommendations, my feeling is either those people did not understand the political environment at that time, the length of time it would take to implement the report of a conference like that or probably were just playing politics with such an important matter.

“Those knowledgeable about the processes of constitutional reforms will know that to implement the Confab report, a number of alterations will be made in the constitution which would require the involvement of the National Assembly and state assemblies.

“Such elaborate review couldn’t have been possible at that time because by the time the report was submitted in August 2014, we were already on the verge of a general election.

“It is also important to point out that at that time, the speaker of the House of representatives, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was a member of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had already moved out, with some members, to the opposition party.

“When you know that your parliament is under that kind of situation, it would have been imprudent on my own part to take such a precious document, which I consider as crucial to our development yearnings, to a parliament that would not give it due consideration.

“If we had a task that would require the alteration of the constitution, enactment of new laws, and amendment of some existing ones, there was no way that could have been done overnight.

“We were also fully aware that, for the segments of our population that were already suspicious of all the actions of government, our intentions could have been misread, especially against the backdrop of the ECOWAS protocol on constitutional reforms which states that no substantial modification shall be made to the electoral laws of member states in the last six months before elections.”

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