PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday defended a plan to send the outcome of the proposed national conference to the National Assembly. Noting that the conference must lead Nigerians to a “direction and not dissension”, the President said that its outcome would be taken to the National Assembly for the purpose of enriching the nation’s constitutional amendment. The President, who spoke during the customary Sallah homage at his Aso Rock residence in Abuja yesterday, said that the convocation of a national dialogue was coming at the “right and critical time “when the National Assembly was thinking about constitutional amendment.
Urging politicians to curb inciting utterances that would instigate hate in the hearts of Nigerian children, he said: “In Nigeria, we must work very hard; we must talk to ourselves the way that our children will not develop hate amongst themselves. And that is one of the key reasons that we decided to have a conversation as a nation. “At times when you listen to radio and read in the papers, you see even our elders that are supposed to give us leadership quarrelling over nothing, even insulting themselves and even making provocative statements that will sometimes instigate one group against another. We decided that we cannot continue that way; the talking must have a direction. What has been happening on the pages of the newspapers are discussions that have no direction.”