What is the use of a Conference without a Conscience? I hate to sound like a pessimist but Is it not simple wisdom to know that “direction, not intention ultimately leads to a destination”? If a man intends to travel to Ibadan from Lagos but faces Badagri express way.. will he ever get to Ibadan? even if he eventually does by some strokes of luck; I’m sure he can’t be timely.
Much has been said about our numerous challenges as a nation (Nigeria) but will the this National Conference lead us to promise land? I don’t think so. My pessimistic position is based on these premises:
1) First within; then without! There is no amount of conferences and gathering that will produce fundamental change we desire as a nation without change of individual Nigerian mindsets – selfish, slavery, corrupt and unpatriotic mindsets. I mean, a old wine in a new bottle will not make the wine new. It’s only a matter of time.
2) Bad national antecedents. We have a lot of issues of the past that is hindering us from creating the future we desire as a nation. So much bitterness, inter-ethnic sentiments, inter-religious intolerance, etc. Until we focus on one thing ” ‘Forgetting’ (deal with) the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” as a nation; I doubt if our national conference will make any appreciable impact.
3) False federalism. Come to think of it; how true does this proposed representation depicts true federalism? Nigerians are still marginalized; even if not truly marginalized, they perceived to me marginalized. Nigerians have not enjoyed good governance.. Nigerians by default greet all moves by this regime with skepticism.
For me, national Conference without national Conscience is only an exercise in futility; we need national identity, we need national values, we need paradigm shift from limiting and corrupt mind sets. I don’t think it requires a conference to initiate the change we all desire.. but a man of tested character.. a leader with unequaled passion for this country.. a man or woman that will not be carried away with ‘Power’ and fantasies of governance.. a man with genuine love for Nigeria and Nigerians.. a man not minding to pay the ultimate price, a man ready to die for the Nigerian project… Who is this man?
Until we find this man/woman and initiate a far reaching national conscience renewal strategies.. It’s almost certain that our national conferences will only produce national conspiracies.