By SundiataPOST, Abuja
Alhaji Mohammed Abba-Gana, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday advised the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue to adopt the structure of the 1994/1995 Constitutional Conference for the proposed National Dialogue.
Abba-Gana gave the advice while speaking at a stakeholders consultative forum of the committee in Maiduguri.
He said respected and seasoned administrators or Judges must be appointed as leaders of the conference for credibility.
“I will like to recommend the 1994/1995 constitutional conference model where we had distinguished Justice Adolphus Karibe-Whyte as chairman, while Justice Mamman Nasir was Vice Chairman,” he said.
Abba-Gana described the 1994/1995 conference as successful.
“The Chairman and Vice chairman were highly knowledgeable so they were respected by delegates and conference achieved its aim.”
He also suggested that the conference should consist of 75 elected delegates and 25 nominees by government.
“The committee should consider using the existing 360 federal constituencies to elect delegates to the conference, the election can be done through electoral college arrangement.
“For the nominated delegates, three or four delegates can be nominated from each of the 36 states and the FCT,” Abba-Gana said.
“The structure of the conference must accommodate all parts of Nigeria, various interest groups should be also included.
“We should look at the possibilities of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC),” the group represented by Dr Shettima Mustapha, who represented the group said.
Mustapha said that the conference should last for a year with periodic breaks.
He said agenda for the conference should be left open without restrictions or no go areas.
“Let everything about Nigeria and the inter/intra relationship among, and between the component units and her citizens as well as various tiers of government be discussed.
“There should be not be no-go-areas,” Mustapha said.
Wada said that each ethnic group in the country must be represented at the conference to ensure justice and fairness.
On his part, Mr Isa Muhammed, the National President of National Union of Borno State Students (NUBASS), canvassed for the inclusion of security challenges facing the North-East region on the agenda of the conference.
Muhammed said the conference should also discuss issues concerning youth unemployment.
Malam Mohammed Karaye, a lecturer at the College of Education, Gashua, Yobe, urged the conference to discuss how to revive agriculture in the country.