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How Jonathan didn’t sign Confab report – Akinyemi

Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, a former minister of foreign affairs for Nigeria, recalled how the committee failed to carry out the recommendations in the report of the 2014 National Conference after receiving it.

Speaking at the 9th annual Foursquare Gospel Church lecture last Friday, Akinyemi said that he made every effort to get former President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the agreement, but to no avail.

He also remembered being asked to persuade the outgoing president to call the national conference.

“Oronto,” he murmured. One day, Douglas called and said, “We need to see.” Why did I say that? “You need to come and talk to Oga,” he said, “because he is worried that if he calls the National Conference, there will be a ‘walk out’ and it won’t work. So that it will succeed and not fail, I want you to visit and speak with him.

I went and we met as a result. When I brought up the National Conference issue during our conversation on etiquette, he responded, “No, no, I don’t want to hear about it. Don’t go there.” And I explained to him why I had come. And he added, “If that’s why I came, then that’s where the dialogue ends.” He led me to the door and opened it after I stood up.

“Just before I left, he asked, “Do you think it will work?” “That what will work?” I responded. But you came here to discuss about the National Conference, he continued. I tried to tell you, but you were not interested. He then requested me to sit down, at which point we began speaking. I therefore created a blueprint and showed it to him.

Akinyemi also described how the Peoples Democratic Party, which was in power at the time, nearly ruined the election.

The guests became aware that something was being planned, and they accused him of excluding them, he claimed. When they stated it wouldn’t work, Jonathan responded, “I have already decided.” They requested that Jonathan give it to the party so that it might run, but Jonathan refused. Okonjo Iweala claimed that following it, there was no money left for the budget. “You find the money or you get yourself a new job,” he then said to Okonjo Iweala.

We divided the outcome into three quadrants, one of which required executive permission, but when he eventually lost courage, we did so. And all he had to do was sign it, but he chose not to. When I later ran into him and urged him to carry out his own portion, he responded, “Oh, I’m returning to the office. We’ll do that once we’re inside.

I then remarked, “Sir, you are not God. Only God has the authority to assign who occupies that chair. When he lost the election, he merely brought it before the National Assembly. The National Assembly, of course, would not approve a document from a president who had lost an election. So, that is what took place. At the very least, you ought to have fulfilled your responsibility; Buhari should handle the rest.

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