(NAN) President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday constituted an advisory committee to set up modalities for national dialogue or conference.
The President, who constituted the committee in his 53rd Independence Day’ national broadcast, said the committee would establish modalities for a national conference aimed at resolving issues that currently caused friction in the polity.
He said that the committee would have Dr. Femi Okurounmu as its Chairperson and Dr. Akilu Indabawa as Secretary.
The committee, according to the president, is expected to complete its assignment within one month.
“Fellow Nigerians, our administration has taken cognizance of suggestions over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a national dialogue on the future of our beloved country.
“When there are issues that constantly stoke tension and bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested parties to come together to discuss.
“In demonstration of my avowed belief in the positive power of dialogue in charting the way forward, I have decided to set up an advisory committee whose mandate is to establish the modalities for a national dialogue or conference.
“The committee will also design a framework and come up with recommendations as to the form, structure and mechanism of the process.
“The full membership of the committee will be announced shortly.
“I expect its report to be ready in one month, following which the nation will be briefed on the nomenclature, structure and modalities of the dialogue,” he said.
The president reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to taking all necessary action to bring the war against domestic terrorism to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible.
He condoled with the families of all those who have fallen victim of those dastardly acts, and assured that the
administration would not rest until every Nigerian was free from the oppression of terrorism.
“I reassure you that no cost will be spared, no idea will be ignored, and no resource will be left untapped in the quest to enable our people live without fear.
“I implore every Nigerian – wherever you are, whatever language you speak, whatever your religious persuasion, whichever political party you support – let us join together to fight this evil of extremism,” he said.
The president rededicated himself “completely” to the service of the nation, assuring Nigerians that the country will not fail under his leadership.
He charged all political leaders to continually focus on service, duty and responsibility.
He said that politicians should act as statesmen who focused on “next generation” and not the “next election.”
He said that those who were elected to govern at all levels must focus on improving the lives of the people and not selfish ambition.
The president also cautioned against harmful clutches of parochial sentiments and the politics of bitterness, impunity and arrogance.
He said politicians must guard their utterances and ensure they promoted things that united the nation.
“We must stand as one, with absolute commitment and resolve to resist any force that threatens us and the sanctity of our union,” he said.
The president urged Nigerians to remain fully committed to building a strong, united, progressive and prosperous nation in spite of present challenges.
“In truth, Nigeria is still a work in progress and we are challenged everyday to keep building in spite of the various obstacles we face.
“History has proven that nations take time to evolve. We should rejoice in our democracy because it enables us to be united by our differences, not destroyed by them,” he said.
The president noted that the threats the nation faced might be real and immediate but the country was not alone in that regard.
He said what should be of concern were the lessons learnt, the wisdom demonstrated, and the victories snatched from the jaws of possible defeat.
“This is a time to pull together behind the national cause: the cause of our freedom, and our future.
“We must rekindle the spirit of Nigeria, to ensure that every democrat and every lover of peace in this great nation continues to live in a free, peaceful and secure Nigeria,” he said.
Jonathan congratulated all Nigerians as the nation marks 53 years of independence.
He noted that looking back over the years, Nigerians could confidently say that they had reasons to celebrate.
The president thanked every Nigerian who had stood by this administration in the midst of mounting challenges and enormous expectations.
“I recognise that it is not easy to keep believing in the possibilities of our greatness when our faith is constantly challenged.
“But let me assure you that, if we do not despair, we shall reap the reward of our labour in due season,” he said.
The president reiterated the commitment of the administration to lead the country to greatness.(NAN)