by crossriverwatch admin
A former governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri, has described the National Conference, which kicks off on March 10, as a misplaced priority, saying it is more important and urgent to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.
Ebri, who spoke at Ikom, Cross River State, on Sunday, said the onslaught by members of the violent Islamic sect on the Nigerian state should have been of major concern to President Goodluck Jonathan than the national conference, which he noted was not country’s major problem at the moment.
He said in other countries, especially the western world, the Boko Haram insurgency would have been declared a national emergency and tackled headlong rather than organise a conference, which he said was ill-timed, considering that the conference would hold on the eve of an election year.
The former governor advised the President to go beyond the rhetoric of condemning each attack by the insurgents by ensuring that the military is adequately equipped and motivated to fight and defeat members of the sect.
“It is better for the Federal Government to devote its time and resources to tackling terrorism in the North-East than allow it escalate to other parts of the country as it would be too late to contain it. Government must be mindful of the fact that any nation that slips into terrorism holds no attraction for foreign investment,” he said.
Ebri observed that intelligence gathering was needed to nip in the bud the menace of terrorism in the country and challenged the security operatives to do their homework and be proactive rather than reactive to attacks.
On the national conference, Ebri maintained that there was nothing wrong if Nigerians decided to discuss their
common problems and proffer solutions.
He, however, said that the timing of the conference was not right given that this year was already loaded with political activities for next year’s general elections.
Besides the issue of timing, the former governor said he was not comfortable with the nomination of delegates by the President, unlike in the former President Olusegun Obasanjo era where members of the Constitutional Conference were democratically elected.
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