Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has said that he only believes in the type of national conference where a constitution would be adopted for the country “and not the type government is forcing delegates on the conference.”
According to him, a true national conference should be based on ethnic nationalities.
He added that he rejected to be chairman of the conference based on his physical strength and the type of conference he had advocated for.
Nwabueze, who was the keynote speaker at the Ethnic Nationality Conference organised by the Ethnic Nationalities Movement (ENM) yesterday in Abuja, said the real stakeholders were ethnic nationalities.
On whether or not he believed in the proposed conference, Nwabueze said: “Of the type that we want, I believe in it, not the type that government is against the house. I believe in the type of national conference that we want to adopt a constitution for Nigeria, be a conference of ethnic nationalities, because that is how to tackle Nigeria’s problems. I believe in it very strongly and we will continue.”
On why he rejected chairmanship offer of the conference, he said: “There is no opposition except that I could not because of my health; to go from Sokoto to Bayelsa, from Bayelsa to Maiduguri from there to Benin City, I can’t do that, and can’t you see my physical appearance? It is one thing sitting down in a place making contributions, it is another thing, physical strength moving all over the country, and I just can’t do that.”
He said he was not happy to hear that the federal government would appoint almost 50 per cent of delegates to the conference, saying that “you must recognise ethnic nationalities first.”