Bamidele Aturu, Chairman of the Social Group, an NGO, on Tuesday in Abuja urged Nigerians to participate actively in the proposed national conference, to offer new opportunities of creating an agenda for national growth.
Aturu made the call in Abuja on Tuesday during a conference organised by the NGO to discuss the national conference.
Aturu said Nigerians had been yearning for a national conference in the past years to identify the problems facing the nation and proffer solutions that would move the nation forward.
According to him, with the current challenges in every sector of the country, a national conference will offer new opportunities for creating and re-defining an agenda for national rebirth and progress.
He also stressed the need to build a democracy that would give priority to the needs of the people rather than for the interest of the few.
In a keynote address, Dr Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman, Governing Board of the National Human Rights Commission, said the problem of Nigeria was not the Nigerian state itself.
Odinkalu said that Nigerians had excluded themselves with some strategic steps from being part of the process of building the state.
He said that the right leaders were not given the opportunity to govern, adding that the interest of the masses was jettisoned during decision making.
“I believe that if Nigerians could count their people, their money and their votes, we could fix the difficulty we have,?? he said.
Mrs. Faith Nwadishi, National Coordinator of “Publish What You Pay”, another NGO, said Nigerians desired a national conference to discuss their destiny.
“The people need to sit down, understand what the issues are and see the country as a collective agenda.
“We should see the issues that separate us and work more on the issues that unite us.
“We want to say that people should come out objectively, say their minds and be able to participate in taking decisions.
“We as a country must also ensure that those in positions are able to implement the decisions of the people for the general good of the country,?? she said.