As Kalu Dialogues For National Dialogue

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Nigerians are contributing their voices to the national dialogue that was
given heed by President Goodluck Jonathan on Oct. 1st to be held. This was
coming after a long time persuasion by different individuals and groups
which suggested that Nigerians needed to talk on a round table in order to
iron out things that have been besetting the country. Many have contributed
in favour and against this initiative. But to a former governor of Abia
State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who has also contributed his voice towards the
project, believes that all the ethnic biases that characterise Nigeria
should never see Nigeria as a country going to ramshackle.

Dr. Kalu believes that for true unity among the peoples of the country
there should be no dissection, detestation, toxic contention, and jealous
that do not make good for a people or peoples. Kalu also believes that even
though that such challenging statement as, Nigeria was built on
deceitfulness by the European colonialists, since Nigerians have endured
and consequently have been making many efforts to put away the perceived
treacherous tendencies from the system, they can make Nigeria an enviable
country to be looked onto among the comity of nations.

It is obvious that there are tragedies that the governments at all levels
in Nigeria have been fighting very hard to arrest: the tragedies of
political, social, cultural, economic, and religious bigotries. But Kalu
was of the view that since there have been accusing fingers that the
country’s constitutional arrangements since 1914 to date, have not
reflected truly to the realities that Nigerians were yearning for, the
missing link might be found and shaped at the conference.

Although, he had always praised Nigerians for what he described as, their
ebullient spirit in opinion contributions to building the country, he,
conversely, said that it is ripe the time for Nigerians to manage the
opportunity of the conference and make their profound inputs, instead of
calling a dog from the backyard to come and eat the feaces that is
defecated by a toddler in the front-yard. This is not the time again to say
that referendums and the constitution have been imposed on Nigerians
whether or not they like it, but they have been given the opportunity to
make their principled policies known to the government for utilisation.

It is believed by Kalu that government cannot build the country alone; it
is Nigerians responsibility to join hand in rebuilding the country if they
think that it is collapsing, instead of abetting to the collapse, because
of self-centeredness. Kalu’s voice has always resonated on the brim that no
matter all that dim-witted acts of killing and destruction of property in
some parts of the country that no individual or group can plunge the
country to experience what countries like Liberia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia,
Burundi, Srilanka, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and so many others have
experienced and are experiencing in the 21st Century, due to lack of
dialogue or disagreement after dialoguing, if Nigerians say no.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu averred that the stability and peace of the country
partly depend on the citizens, even though that they might think the
government at all levels have not done enough to assuage their hopes and
aspirations of seeing a policy-working-Nigeria. He does not see the country
downhill into disintegration, as the best option or dialogue.
Disintegration has been the only word on many lips that could settle the
problems of the country, but Kalu has been advocating that Nigerians can
still make it in ‘one Nigeria’, but through finding solutions that are
motivating and compassionate to dissuade the spirit of disintegration.

Nigerians have praised Kalu for seeing that the national conference should
be far from being a jamboree of a sort and that those recommended in the
Planning Committee should do their composition very well and based on
devotion, frankness, veracity, difficult task, and capability. Nigerians
have also praised Kalu for putting his leg through his suggestive opinions
that the delegates should be properly sworn in by the respective
authorities that see to the swearing in of such delegation to avoid the
conference turning to a market men and women affair.

It behooves all Nigerians of goodwill to therefore, thank Kalu for seeing
and saying that this conference is an opportunity they needed to harness
the affairs that would foster the movement and growth of the country. But
whether each of the 774 LGAs in the country would be allowed to elect a
member, Kalu has said that the planning committee has to decide on what
could work for the attainment of this project; hence Nigerians can make
their different observations and directions to add to the result.

Invariably, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was of the view that recommendations should
not be based on political party affiliation to enable the gaining of a
transparent and people-oriented result needed to move Nigeria forward. He
did not remove the view that the opinions of the political parties would be
respected, but only when they are not tailored for cheap blackmail and
opposition to the ruling party for selfish interest.

Dr. Kalu was influential with the truth that the government should not cow
Nigerians with the security apparatuses, thinking that the National
Conference was an election where the heavy presence of the Army, the Navy,
the Airforce, and the Police are noticed; but a National Conference should
be civil.

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