National Dialogue: A Controversial Rebranding Project
The proposed national dialgue by President Goodluck Jonathan has received diverse reactions by politicians and stakeholders with many in total support and others seeing it as a political ployy by the president to unwittingly gain undue political mileage in the build-up towards yhe 2015 elections. While the debate before the dialogue rages on, the president has issued another statement which has brought a new angle into the issue.
According to the President, “this national dialogue is coming at the right time because the National Assembly is thinking about how they will amend the constitution. So the results of the discussion of course will be passed to the National Assembly.”
Opposition parties have since been critical of the role being insinuated for the National Assembly on the Dialogue report. They claim that since the dialogue will be conducted outside the provision of the constitution, its report should not be at the mercy of the legislators. They also question the sincerity of the legislators whom they said had embarked on several constitutional amendments since the return of democracy in 1999 but have failed to make meaningful adjustments. The legislators on the other hand are in total support of the statement saying the President is simply complying with the provisions of the constitution which reserve the right of amendments to the National Assembly.
Will it be best for Nigeria if the pending National Dialogue report be subject to National Assembly’s ratification or through a plebiscite?