President of the All Nigerian Nationals in the Diaspora (ANNID) South Africa branch, Honourable Emeka Johnson Ukwuoma has declared that Nigerians in diaspora are very keen about the proposed National Confab and are more than willing to contribute their quota to see the country move forward.
The enthusiasm of the Nigerians abroad for the confab falls short of the aspersions from different quarters back at home; with some stating that the proposed national gathering will only amount to sheer waste of state resources.
In a chat in Johannesburg, Hon. Ukwuoma said his body and others uniting Nigerians outside the shores of the country are leaving no stone unturned to see that they use the eight slots allotted them properly at the National Confab.
“We in the diaspora have been given eight slots though we consider that has grossly inadequate, we are to have two delegates each from Europe, Asia, Africa and America”. Mr Ukwuoma began.
“Already we have in place staggered study groups all over to come up with concise positions that is dynamic and unifying that we will push for at the confab”
Hon. Ukwuoma explained that for the South Africa branch of ANNID, a 17-man committee which cut across ethnic groups, political and professional affiliations is already working on an action plan for the confab.
“We in the diaspora are really enthusiastic about this National Confab, we think it is very timely as Nigeria celebrates 100 years, let us sit down to jaw-jaw rather than war-war and renegotiate or co-existence”
“Even in these times of economic recession, lets us come together to articulate new survival measures for ourselves. The ANNID President enthused,
For Hon. Ukwuoma, one issue that they will be pushing for at the confab is diaspora voting. According to him, disenfranchising the over 20 million Nigerians based abroad is a denial of their fundamental human rights and they will want that addressed as fast as possible.
He said other issues they will also be pushing for is the adoption of true federalism in which the geo-political zones will be allocated more powers will less we be at the centre.
On his part, Mr Jason Nsofor Head of Research and Project Development for ANNID posited that Nigerians in diaspora particularly those in climes that things are ‘working’ would be a good addition to the national confab.
“I think we in the diaspora have a duty to contribute to the reconstructing of Nigeria.
Already, President Jonathan had on December 18, 2013, while receiving the 4,000-page report of the Senator Femi Okurounmu-led Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Dialogue, said the national conference being planned by his administration would hold early 2014.