Confab: I have no personal agenda- Jonathan


President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday,urged delegates to the National Conference to do nothing that will undermine the unity of the country.

The President who spoke while declaring the conference open said he has no personal agenda as regards the conference further charged the delegates to focus strictly on the desire of Nigerians to build a better greater nation.

He reminded participants of the formidable challenge of the programme of the coming weeks, saying that the Conference was an “opportunity to hope anew.”

He also stressed the need to approach the conference with a “new spirit of oneness andnational unity”, in spite of the long odds and issues the meeting is designed to address.

It is expected that the national conference will be followed by constitutional amendments based on the proposals and agreements reached in what is arguably the most critical episode of the country’s national existence. This it is hoped would decide how the country would be reformulated going forward. Jonathan calls it “a new day… the dawn of a new era.”

This we can achieve by building a more
inclusive national consensus on the structure and guiding principles of state that will guarantee our emergence as a more united,progressive and prosperous nation.

He said: “In our history as a political entity,we have experienced highs and lows buthave always forged ahead. To my mind, the fact that we have weathered all storms and continued with the mission of evolving a truly
national identity signifies that we are going in the right direction.

“The strongest nations in the world today also went through their own formative stages; some for decades and others for centuries. We must learn from them that nationhood will not happen overnight,especially given the circumstances of our birth as a nation.

“History also teaches that nation-building is a journey of dedication, commitment,diligence, perseverance and patriotic vision.

To be successful, nation-builders must
continually strive to evolve better and more inclusive societies in which every citizen is a. proud and committed stakeholder.”

While explaining why the Federal
Government constituted the conference,
President Jonathan said The National Conference is being convened

“to engage in intense introspection about the political and socio-economic challenges confronting our nation and to chart the best and most acceptable way for the resolution of such challenges in the collective interest of all the constituent parts of our fatherland.

“This coming together under one roof to
confer and build a fresh national consensus for the amicable resolution of issues that still cause friction amongst our people must be seen as an essential part of the process of building a more united, stronger and progressive nation.”

He said that Nigerians cannot continue to fold their arms and assume that things will straighten themselves out, instead of taking practical steps to overcome impediments on our path to true nationhood, rapid development and national prosperity.

President Goodluck Jonathan

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