Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Coordinator of the Southwest Consultative Forum for the National Conference, yesterday, described those opposing the planned National Conference as selfish.
President Goodluck Jonathan October 1, set up the National Conference Advisory Committee, naming Senator Femi Okurounmu as its chairman.
The committee was to facilitate the convening of a National Conference by the Federal Government.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos after a closed-door meeting of the group, Braithwaite cautioned politicians speaking against the planned dialogue.
“The interest of those opposing the planned conference is to seize power for political gains.
“The advocates of National Conference are not calling for the break-up of Nigeria, but a dialogue to redefine the basic existence of the country.”
He said that all Nigerians should embrace the dialogue as it would give birth to a new Nigeria with equal opportunities for everyone.
“The timing of this conference is divine because next year is the 100th anniversary of the Nigerian union.
“The dialogue will strenghten the continued union of the nation on the terms of Nigerians.”
Dr.Braithwaite commended President Jonathan for buying into the idea of a national conference.
“President Jonathan by this conference has taken a very big step. If the conference is well managed, the President would have succeeded in writing his name in the sands of time.”
He, however, said that the forum had its reservations, regarding the outcome of the dialogue.
The forum coordinator suggested that the outcome should be subjected to a referendum and not to the approval of the National Assembly.
“The purpose of the conference is to give Nigerians a new nation and a people’s constitution.”
He, however, urged the advisory committee to ensure that all ethnic groups and nationalities in the country were recognised for representation.”