The immediate past president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, July 11, called for the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.
Jonathan spoke in Lagos during the launch of a book to commemorate the 80th birthday of a frontline politician, Senator Femi Okurounmu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the launch of the book, which is a memoir by the politician, Jonathan said he convened the national conference during his administration to address some of the challenges the country was facing at the period.
According to him, some of those challenges bothering mainly on security and national cohesion are still existent creating a wider discord over time.
“I understand that efforts are being made toward addressing some of these challenges, however, we seem to play politics with sensitive and serious matters.
“The call for reforms has continued to grow louder, gathering the kind of momentum that should no longer be overlooked, if the nation must make real progress.
“I believe that the solutions to most of the problems we face today lie in our honest assessment of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.
”If we take politics out of our consideration, there is every likelihood that a diligent implementation of the key recommendations of the conference will lead the nation out of the woods,” he said.
Jonathan, who was chairman of the book launch, expressed belief that the implementation of the conference report would heal frayed nerves, create peace and promote solidarity.
The former president said his administration could not implement the report because it was submitted to him toward the twilight of his tenure.
He noted that he got the report when elections were approaching and the executive and legislature were very busy preparing for the polls.
“I noticed that each time I express this belief and optimism, I always get hit with the counter narrative that seems to question my inability to implement the recommendations during my presidency.
“My administration was prepared to change the narrative for our constitutional democracy with the assurance that sovereignty really belongs to the people.
“However, we were time constrained. The conference was concluded less than one year to the end of my tenure.
“We received the report specifically on August 21, 2014, at a time the nation was in the mood of electioneering.
“Then, the members of the National Assembly whose duty it was to consider and validate the process were pre-occupied with the battle of political survival.
“I believed that given the nature of the consultations and due deliberations involved in advancing the process, an orderly and systematic implementation could have been concluded in less than a year,” he said adding that his administration had no time.