Former minister of finance, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF Chief Olu Falae, who was also the joint presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy , AD and the All Peoples Party, APP in the 1999 presidential election Spoke with Newsmen over the weekend.
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He is currently the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party SDP. He spoke extensively on contemporary issues in an interview in Akure at the weekend.
According to Olu Falae,the recent noises we are hearing are symptoms that the basic problems of Nigeria are rearing again. Nigerians like to pretend that things are okay while they are not. The fundamental problem is an unjust, distorted federation, which had been manipulated to favour one section against the other. There is no way such an unjust arrangement can endure or generate peace and stability. It’s not possible.
In 2014, after a lot deferring and hesitation, President Goodluck Jonathan convened the 2014 national conference. There were dire predictions that it would achieve nothing or that it would break up in confusion and that there would be riot or that there would be fighting, but none of the above happened. It was as if God himself started to have a hand in the affairs of Nigeria.
I was made the leader of the Yoruba delegation, and in that capacity, I can say with all humility I was at the very core of what happened at the conference. Maybe that was the first time Nigerians recognized that changing the Constitution was the most effective strategy in returning peace and stability in Nigeria. All the delegates at the conference cooperated in getting all the resolutions passed without a single division.
At the beginning, there were arguments as to how majority decisions would be taken at the conference the guidelines given to us said it should be by 75%. There were noises made, lobbying, debates but finally on the floor everything and I mean everything without exception was decided by consensus without a vote or any division.
I am stressing this because in our history we had never, never succeeded in coming to so many conclusions that constitute a package on the basis of consensus. What that means to me is that Nigeria recognised that if we wanted to live together as a country, there must be give and take and that nobody can say that l must take everything and the other takes nothing. That was how we agreed and over 600 resolutions were taken.