Our Nigeria; Our Future is a series of conversations around the idea of a national dialogue driven by young Nigerians. This idea is premised on: (1) our demographic advantage – we should lead any conversation about the Nigeria that we will have to live in; and (2) we have less baggage than our ‘elders’. However, to ensure that we do not have emotive dialogues, emphasis is placed on reading and understanding the history that has brought us thus far. Take time to read the documents below. You are welcome to nominate others.
- The 1960 Constitution.
- The Willink Commission Report – concerns of ethnic minorities in the lead up to independence.
- The 1963 Constitution (all four – one for federal, one for each region).
- Constitutional Amendment, the Way to Go – NBA.
- Constitutional Amendment Report delivered under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
- The Justice Mohammed Uwais Report.
The System and Matters Arising
At 10:17am, proceedings at the Day 2 of The Future Awards Symposium kicked off. As the organisers stated, it was a low-key workshop sponsored by Enough is Enough Nigeria to dissect practically recent calls for a Sovereign National Conference.
Moderated by techpreneur, Gbenga Sesan, of the Paradigm Initiative of Nigeria and former board member of the Enough is Enough Nigeria coalition, the session was rather informal but continued to thicken in strength as participants trickled in. Beginning against the backdrop of the lambasting of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi by a female speaker on Day 1 of the symposium, all the discussants analysed the incidence, thereafter becoming united in purpose to tackle “the system”.
Questions were posed, insights were offered, analogies made as the discussion livened up. While Seun Onigbinde, Team Lead of financial accountability startup, BudgIT was concerned with the plans of the government for minorities, among other things, The Guardian columnist, Stanley Azuakola sought the way forward as regards the Sovereign National Conference . Visiting Kenyan agribusiness consultant, Roselyn Kangara pleaded for young Nigerians to follow-up words with action, rather than perpetually blame “the system”.
To effectively proffer solutions, discussants were divided into three groups, one for the ailing 1999 constitution, another on “the system” and the last was occupied with the proposed Sovereign National Conference and by extension, the general picture.
Resolutions emerged in the course of separate group discussions. Everyone agreed that more power be transferred to citizens in the constitution and that it would be proper if a Public Officials’ Responsibility Bill were forwarded to parliament. A cut down and reduction of incentives for governance and part-time legislature also made the list.
Sesan asked everyone to show commitment to the fight for better Nigeria. He charged them to be true to their word and not, like so many others, just remain Twitter activists.
One advantage of the session over the initial day of proceedings was the increased interactivity that fewer numbers allow and consequently better time management.
In between munching small chops during the post-discussion networking, one thing was clear: The Future Awards Symposium had fulfilled its aim of re-awakening consciousness.