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Eminent Nigerians propose national dialogue to address nation’s challenges

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Following Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary celebration yesterday, some elder statesmen and leaders have stressed the need for a national dialogue to address the country’s many challenges.

They insisted that a national dialogue was necessary to resolve the heightening political, socio-economic crisis and insecurity in the country. They stated this in a communiqué issued by Nastura Ashir Shariff (North) and Ezekiel Nya Etok (South) for the National Summit of Eminent Elders and Leaders (NSEEL) under the auspices of the National Political Summit Group (NPSG) and National Consultative Front (NCFront) in Abuja.

They argued that the national dialogue was necessary due to the tension created in the polity by agitations for secession and break up of Nigeria, as well as protest rallies on Independence Day, coupled with activities of terrorists, insurgents and armed bandits in the country.

They applauded the national dialogue, describing it as a timely and welcome intervention that should be explored to restore national reconciliation, healing and stability of the country.

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“As a diverse multi-cultural, multi- ethnic and multi-religious entity, Nigeria should be an asset to all citizens, but due to its warped constitutional system and structure, it has become a liability and albatross to the well-being of all Nigerians.

“Therefore, in making Nigeria work again, a national summit must be honest in addressing the challenges facing the country, it participants must eschew trading of blames, accusations and urgently move to change the current unsavory narrative of Nigeria into a story of equitable, just and prosperous giant of Africa and the black race,” they stated.

The discussions, which opened with a keynote address by an elder statesman and diplomat, Dr. Ahmed Joda and moderated by Prof. Pat Utomi, also received inputs and proposals from eminent statesmen from across the country, including Dr. Uma Eleazu, Ayo Adebanjo, Umar Ghali Naaba, Ubaluzuike Ameachi, Tanko Yakassai, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu and Dr. Uche Azikwe, among other eminent Nigerians.

After the deliberations, the summit resolved to set up a 40-member National Reconciliation, Healing and Political Reform Commission, to fashion a new political system and structure to douse tension and call for secession in the country, among other resolutions.

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