SNIPPETS FROM LAGOS SHERATON
in this pix; [from the centre]Graham Douglas, Tony Uranta, a guest and Tanko Yakassai
below is Foluke Daramola and a guest
then, Nigerian Compass Correspondent
Frederick Fasehun with Foluke Daramola
Just yesterday, i was harping on the state of the nation and how clueless and helpless we all seem to be. Today, i got the opportunity to be at an event which was an inaugural meeting organised by the National Summit Group, a platform for eminent national leaders on thought dialogue on the state of the nation which was held at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja.
A lot of eminent leaders were present among whom were Frederick Fasehun, Tanko Yakassai, Tony Uranta, Obong Victor Attah, Graham Douglas, Ganiyat Fawehinmi, Foluke Daramola among many others. The obvious absentees were Maitama Sule, Adamu Ciroma, Olu Falae, Musa Sheu to mention but a few. The gentlemen of the press from Nigerian Compass [whom i represented with other colleagues], The Sun, Punch, Channels, BenTV, Silverbird and NTA were ably represented.
The event was kick-started at 10:50am with the rendition of the national anthem followed by opening prayer. The opening statement was made by Tony Uranta. Frederick Fasehun harped on the need for a new constitution that would effectively take care of over 140 million Nigerians. He reiterated the fact that the constitution doesn’t include the youth of Nigeria who are not mentioned at all except when it comes under the name National Youth Service Corp. He said the youths are not well catered for and such, the constitution is very faulty, the whole system smirks of corruption, injustice, ineptitude and dilapidated structures. He believes that a new constitution should be written, submitted to referendum and it is only then that Nigeria can become the pride of black nations.
Tony Uranta spoke about the agenda and goals of the steering committee. The major vision and purpose of the inaugural meeting was to be a primary vehicle towards achieving an all inclusive and participatory national consultation and dialogue that would bring about a people’s constitution for Nigeria. Yesterday, the 27th of June they came together to work out modalities of convening and organizing a people’s national conference for the political cohesion and stability of Nigeria.
Tanko Yakassai talked about the security of the nation. A minute silence was observed for people who just lost their lives through boko haram killings and plane crash. Members of the media were asked to exit so that the leaders could have a closed door session. Gentlemen of the press exited at 11:55am.
While i applaud the purpose of this dialogue and the effort of the steering committee, i believe strongly that this is not the miracle that this country needs. I saw the passion of frederick Fasehun and Tony Uranta while they spoke but the rottenness that threatens our nationhood is beyond mere agitation for constitution amendment. While i support the constitution amendment issue, methinks the present crop of leaders would still not fare better under a constitution review. Nigerians would not get anything better. A complete overhaul of the system would have been more effective, new leaders, new constitution, new attitude, new agenda then a new Nigeria. But this takes the grace of God.
Nay think about this, a constitution that erodes our collective intelligence giving justice to the high and mighty while common people wallow in abject misery and poverty. Beyond this report, i saw the activity of shenanigans, the gross misconduct that has continually eroded our values as a nation. I saw beyond the facade, yes, i saw. I cannot give voice to that because i choose not to dabble into political matters or matters of corruption. We are all tenants in the big house called Nigeria. Our landlord [FG] can toss us about like a piece of coin so until a revolution occur [like in Libya] until then, It is well with Nigeria.