Obi of Onitsha Agbogidi Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the recommendations of the 2005 and 2014 National Conferences to address challenges currently facing the nation.
Making copious references to the 2005 National Conference conveyed by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the 2014 National Conference by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the revered monarch argued that if the recommendations could be extracted and implemented, they would solve over 80 percent of the problems in the nation.
The monarch spoke at a reception organised to honour him by the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) at Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State. The ceremony was attended by the Chairman of the group, Prof. Akin Mabogunje; the Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, members of the academic community and a host of others.
He described the recent killings of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen as unfortunate and barbaric.
According to him, the herdsmen should have learnt modern methods of rearing cows through the building of ranches to preserve the animals and prevent them from destroying farmlands.
“There is no way the animals would not stray to other people’s farms. I think that in the present day 21st century, we should be having ranches even if it involves taking loan from the banks.
“They rear the animals to make profit, so I don’t see why they cannot do that and prevent all these crises,” he said.
Achebe said Nigeria’s challenges would have been lighter if the recommendations of the past National Conferences were implemented.
“We as Nigerians have to work to actualise peace. Nigerians are probably saying that the governance of this country is over centralized.
“Most of the decisions are made in Abuja and by the time it gets to the grassroots here most of them have been diluted.
“The Niger Delta people are
asking for greater share of the natural resource. Like in 2005 and 2014, we had National political conferences under former President Olusegun Obasanjo and immediate past President Jonathan.
“They conveyed National Conferences and if you look at the recommendations, you will see that the recommendations actually addressed 75 to 80 percent of the problems facing Nigeria.
“Why can’t we extract from the recommendations to solve these crisis in the land. The case of the Niger Delta people, you will find the recommendation there in the report.”
He went on: “About a month ago, the government announced that the price of petrol had been partially deregulated.
“Thirteen years ago, I was the chairman of a commission of enquiry appointed by the then president Olusegun Obasanjo to look into the same issue.
“We made a series of recommendations. One of them was to deregulate the price of petrol and save the country a lot of money.
“Money saved would have been used to address problems in education, health and other sectors. It took 13 years to adopt the recommendation.”