A former Minister of Information and Culture, Professor Jerry Gana, has described the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to implement the 2014 National Conference report “as a terrible mistake”.
Gana, who said the non-implementation of the confab report was largely responsible for some of the growing agitations and disunity across the country, however, said Nigerians were better off together as a people and country.
Gana, who spoke on Sunday in Uvwiamuge, Agbarho, Delta State, during the thanksgiving service to conclude activities marking the 90th anniversary of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, said there would hardly be peace in the absence of justice and fairness in any society.
The elder statesman, however, maintained that he did not share sentiments of persons, who were clamoring for the balkanization of the country, saying he believed strongly in a united Nigeria, where justice and fairness were served to everyone irrespective of political or religious inclinations.
“We, in the middle belt of Nigeria, are great lovers of peace, justice, and fairness. The last administration convened a national conference in 2014 and we agreed on certain fundamentals to ensure justice and fairness. Unfortunately, when this government came in, they made a terrible mistake. They never touched that report and that is the problem.
“That’s why we are now saying we should start that conversation. We should talk to one another and assure one another of justice and fairness because, without equity, there can’t be peace. Without equity, we cannot be together. Let me appeal to the federal government to promote peace, equity, and justice. Let me also appeal to those people, who are agitating that there’s tremendous power in being united. Let’s not fight to scatter and divide Nigeria. We are better being together,” he stated.
He congratulated the Urhobo Nation on the 90th anniversary of UPU, stressing that Urhobo people had played prominent roles in stabilizing and promoting the unity of Nigeria.
The former minister had at an earlier engagement, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would be swept out of office in 2023, because it had committed a lot of injustices against humanity, adding that Nigerians were fed up with their leaders.
Gana said this at the weekend in Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, while delivering a lecture titled: “Raising 21st Century Leaders for Nigeria” at Youth Arise Conference 2021.
The Youth Arise Nigeria Conference with a large turnout in attendance from within and Outside Delta was put together by Advocates of Paradigm Shift in Governance.
They included Deacon Chris Iyowaye, Hon. Gibson Akporehe, Phillip Adu-Odogwu, Cogent Owhe and Lady E Ejiro Umukoro with the goal of raising the civic and political consciousness of youths in how they engage governance, get their PVC as a civic duty while volunteering and investing their time in being useful citizens rather than be purchasable electorate.